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“A HEADWIND OF MY OWN MAKING” – May 27

May 27, 2013

“Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealously.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”  Romans 13:13-14

I have a century (100 miles) bicycle ride coming up way too fast and I am not ready.  I have not had the time to ride any distance greater than 34 miles.  So, I was determined to solve that problem yesterday.  I went for an early morning ride on a route that would garner me 60 miles.  I left my driveway with the sun still coming into its full light.  There were dark clouds in three directions but I figured that I would risk it.

It was a beautiful ride.  There were no cars on the road at that time of morning.  I had the countryside to myself.  The cool morning kept the sweat from my eyes as giant clouds paced me through the undulating hillsides.  It was so quiet that the songs of the birds created a melody with the rhythm of my breathing and the turning of my bike chain.  The words of Matt Chandler and then John Piper were preached from my ipod straight into my mind.  The Word they expounded was confirmed in my soul as I beheld the glory of God in the delicate wild flowers along the fence lines and the power in the gathering storm clouds.

My ride was going so well.  I passed through the town that marked my halfway point and began pedaling the return leg of my long loop.  I felt good.  I was still attacking the climbs and powering through the flats.  I was maintaining a respectable 18.5 mph/ average.  I had not had to stop.  My confidence in being able to do a century ride was rising with each pedal stroke.

I held my crouch with my forearms firmly on my aero-bars as I pushed to better my average speed.  I passed over pavement that had recently been wetted by a light shower.  I craned my neck to see what clouds lay ahead of me.  It did not look very promising.  However, I did not have many choices at that point.  My route was set.  I had decided to head out this morning with threatening clouds so this was not much of a surprise.  Home and rest lay ahead.  So, I had to just keep pedaling.  I was feeling good and my average speed was still 18.4 mph.  I rode through the last town of my route.  I had about 7 miles to go.  No problem.

English: Corn blowing in the wind

English: Corn blowing in the wind (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It hit me just as I passed beyond the city limits and into the open farmland.  A brutal headwind that stretched flags and bent trees had taken possession of the land that a mere 3 hours earlier had been so pleasant and tranquil.  I geared down and hunched over to try offering the wind the least amount of opposing surface area as it flowed into my face.  My neck began to ache.  My thighs began to cramp.  My eyes dried out.  My heart was evaporating as quickly as my speed.  I struggled to keep a 13 mph pace.  I mourned the loss of my 18 mph average.  I just wanted this once enjoyable ride to be over.  I thought about calling my wife to come pick me up.  I could not do that – I was just 5 miles out.  I could make it but it was no longer fun.  I no longer felt good.  I no longer felt strong.  I was being spent at an alarming rate as I pushed through this wind.

Dave Zabriskie attacking the final 3 kilometer...

Dave Zabriskie attacking the final 3 kilometers of the USA Cycling Pro Individual Time Trial Championship in Greenville, SC. Zabriskie won the US title when defending champion Chris Baldwin fell on the course’s last corner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I finally made it back to my driveway.  I did not feel very good.  I felt a little sick.  However, I was very thankful that I had spent the time that morning to clamp my aero-bars back onto my bike.  My aero-bars had helped me get home by giving that wind the least provision of holding me back.  It would have be so much worse if I had been forced to ride upright.  I was disappointed because the wind had affected me, slowed my average to 17.8 mph and stole the joy of my ride.

That wind makes me think of my flesh.  My sinful desires so often feel like a brutal headwind.  I will be feeling confident in my spiritual walk.  I will be feeling so good and strong.  My joy will be overflowing and no distance will seem insurmountable.

I will turn into the headwind of my own flesh and my pace and optimism will be spent in a matter of moments.

The truly frustrating part is that this headwind is usually of my own making.  I know where the dark clouds of my life are.  I know where the storms reside.  I know where I am particularly weak and susceptible.  I am well aware of where I have stumbled in the past.  I know the routes that hold the headwind of my own sinful desires.

I usually end up bucking a spiritual headwind because I have turned into it.  God has promised us a route around every temptation.  We are not required to ride through our own sin.  There is a route that God has paved that will protect us from the headwind of our flesh.  Every provision for sin that I allow in my life is a road sign directing me to a lie.  It is a lie that I sometimes believe.  It is a route that has always led to difficulty and pain.  It is a route that has ground me to a near halt.  It has stolen my joy and expended my strength.

English: Blowing in the wind Lonely daffodils ...

English: Blowing in the wind Lonely daffodils on the River Trent embankment. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The good news is that I have never been abandoned because of poor routes that I have taken along the way.  We can still ride through the headwind of our failings.  God will still give us strength to overcome the powerful resistance of our sinful desires.  He will guide us back to the safe route and into the light.  When we find ourselves confronted with the headwind of our flesh, then we need to hunker down to give it the least area for it to cling to us.  We do that by going to our knees in repentance, preaching the gospel to ourselves, believing the promises of our Redeemer.  We cut off the powerful headwind of our flesh by eliminating all the provisions for it in our lives.  We are told to not give any provision for the flesh in our lives.  Every area of our lives that we expose to the gratification of our sinful desires is an area for sin to cling to and hold us back in our sanctification. God has paved a way for us that is easy, with a burden that is light.  May we not believe the lies of our flesh.  There is no lasting pleasure in the gratification of our flesh.  We have been given a narrow road to glory that already has many challenges.  Let’s not add a headwind of our making to the challenge of our daily walk.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for never abandoning me.  I know that I allow too many provisions for sin in my life.  Show them to me.  Teach me to kill the sin that resides in me.  Thank you for always providing me with an escape from my sinful desires.  Thank you for always providing me a route home to You when I have taken the wrong route.  Father, complete the work that You have started in me.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.

8 comments

  1. Sounded brutal. Yup, for so many of my struggles, I only have myself to blame. Thanks again, JD, for using your daily walk to relay spiritual truths.


  2. What a powerful word? Thank God for his spirit who reveals the truth using the smallest things of life. It is reassuring to know God has paved an exclusive route when we face temptation. God bless you.


  3. […] "A HEADWIND OF MY OWN MAKING" – May 27. […]


  4. Praising God that He gave you the words and the experiences to write this post JD. May the Father continue to use you to encourage His children and bring glory and honour to His Name.


  5. EXCELLENT! Thank you, well done and I love the parallels between spiritual and natural


  6. Challenging and encouraging words – and a great prayer. Thanks!


  7. Truly thought provoking!!! I ride myself so I can identify and apply to my own life. Thank you for this! God never does leave us, even though we turn down paths that cause us to struggle. He is always there, willing and waiting to help us get home!


  8. Praise God he never abandons us, ALWAYS gives us the strength to overcome, and guides us back to where we belong–with him. Thank you for the strong imagery you created from the bike ride. What great news: We can still ride through the headwind of our failings!



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