Do you have something that inspires you to go further, to try harder, to do your best and then some?
Everyone has something, but some find their inspiration easier than others. Mine was something that has been in my life since I was young. My muse, so to speak is rollerblading. Allow me to explain what I mean…
When I was little, about six or so, my school would have these roller skating and rollerblading parties, back when indoor roller rinks were still a popular place. It was a night when there were no uniforms, (I went to a private school with strict dress codes), children like me were not in “student-mode” in the same way that teachers were not in “grading-supervisor-mode”. It was a place to unwind from a stressful week or just a fun environment to let loose in.
I did not realize it then, but now understand the impact rollerblading has had on my life. When I need to clear my head or get away from the world, I go for a blade. It is very nice because I get to explore my surroundings in a way that best fits me. I get to use my senses to guide me.
When the road is smooth in front of me, it is easier to look at where I am going instead of the path in front of my feet. The rocks are more likely to get caught or even trip me up, quite literally, when the path is bumpy and I am not able to go fast. But in order to reach my end destination, I must keep going even when the path gets rough.
Sometimes I am tempted to go down a road going a different direction, if only for a break from the jagged trail, but then remember that that other road is not going to take me where I am trying to go and decide to keep going on the pothole-filled terrain in front of me.
When I do finally make it to Barnegat Lighthouse, at the end of the island, (14 miles away), it is always worth the trying trek I endured to get there! Seeing the lighthouse is rewarding and gives me the feeling of accomplishing something big. It is only then that I pay attention to my aching calves but even the pain I feel cannot compare to the breathtaking view in front of me — both in ambiance and by the fact that I have to actually still catch my breath.
My spiritual life is similar to this picture I painted. When I need to escape from stress, anxiety, outer pressure, or just life in general, I can go to God and he will give me a spiritual break as he pours into me and refills the empty vessel that is my life. He will take me to a place inwardly that is peaceful and rejuvenating. All I have to do is come! When I choose to come to him with all my worries and fears, he is more than happy to relieve me of my burdens – in fact, he wants to take my load and give me his light load in its place.
The next way it can be equated spiritually is, how I am called to persevere especially in hardships, (the bumps and rocks in the road). The reward waiting for me, (the lighthouse), or in this case, Jesus, will be worth all the tribulations that I face. When I am face to face with my Savior, I will not remember the temporary pain I had to overcome on the journey because his face, his nature, his presence is so breathtaking!
The flip side of the jagged road is that when the path is smooth, it is, unfortunately, much easier for me to lose sight of God’s ever-present hand guiding me and protecting me. It may seem crazy to others, but I truly believe that I am given the spiritual rough paths because I take my focus off of the Lord since I do not “need him” in that moment. I always need God but this mindset of self-reliance is too easy to get stuck believing.
There are times, however, as I travel the stable road where I am conscious of my need for God because I am able to see how far I have come because of his hand in my life. In that moment, the blessings and the trials he has given me are so apparent because I am paying attention! It is a way of assuring me that though I will have more rugged roads to travel down there will be gentle roads as well and while I travel both, Jesus IS with me.
In both the flat and uneven trails, Jesus promises to be my balance and he will get me through every mountain and every valley, every meadow and every forest, He WILL bring me through every single thing I face— All I am required to do is trust him like I trust my blades to keep me balanced and upright as he takes me down his path.
Food for thought.
Maybe the smooth paths in your life are where Jesus paved the way as he dragged his cross behind him for your sins and where the trail is rough is where he asks you to take up your cross and follow him. Maybe this is so that others may have a smooth road where you hit bumps in your spiritual ‘blade’.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. ~Matthew 16:24
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. ~Deuteronomy 31:8
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. ~John 16:33
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. ~Romans 8:18
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and portion forever. ~Psalm 73:26