This week it seems as if someone has hit a button and Minnesota has shifted from winter to summer. Thunderstorms, hail and tornado warnings have replace snow and windchill as topics of conversation. With this shift in weather, I have been able to use my new bicycle, but I still need to check the radar before changing to bike shorts.
Bicycling is a new sport for me. I still do not know all the nuts and bolts of my bike. Someone recently asked what shoes and clipless pedals I had. I had no idea. I still awkward each time I start out for a ride. I am thankful for my friend, Tim Torgerson, who mentors me in the fine art of a group ride.
It reminds me when I first started serious running twelve years ago, training for my first marathon. Being a newbie is awkward. I remember the first time I went on a ten-mile run with the group in the spring. I wore a cotton t-shirt and paid the price when the sweat-soaked shirt chaffed my skin. By the end of that run I had blood streaks on the shirt from chaffed nipples. Not a pretty sight.
Yet even after that embarrassment, I came back to run with the group, because they gave me so many rewarding training runs. I remember especially some of the long training runs around White Bear Lake or out through Stillwater and back along the Gateway Trail. The camaraderie of a good training group gave me confidence to set high goals and to work hard to achieve them.
The spiritual life of a Christian can have similar moments of awkward beginnings. We may not know where to find a book in the Bible or how to pray out loud with others. We’re not sure what words are correct or how to express our feelings. Yet to maximize the vibrant life with Christ, we need to be in fellowship/training with other Christians. We need other followers of Christ to help us grow in the study of God’s Word, in the art of caring for one another, and in the discipline of prayer. Hopefully we will remember our own awkward beginnings and with patience mentor each other to grow more Christ-like.
Who has been a mentor to you in your Christian life? How have you mentored others?
Lord Jesus, show me the path to true Christian community.