Grace (part 1)

From the Glory book, some thoughts on grace today and tomorrow…

“New friends introduced me to mountain biking shortly after we arrived in Santiago. They were certain I’d enjoy the adventure now that I was living in Chile, and wanted me to join them for a jaunt in the foothills of the Andes.

“We go out every Sunday after church,” they told me. “You should come.”

“I don’t have a bike,” I said.

“You can borrow one of mine,” Rick replied.

“Where do you ride?” I asked.

“Up there.” Luis pointed to the snow-covered peaks behind us. “On a cow path.”

I have this thing about heights. “Is it safe? What if I fall?”

“I fall a lot,” said Jon. He pointed to wounds and scars on his arms, shoulders, back. “Stitches, dislocations, blood. It’s great.”

I went; it was steep. And that cow path? Very skinny cows apparently, animals unworried by precipitous drop-offs. If going up was difficult, coming down was terrifying.

“Trust the equipment,” Rick said. “It’s better than you are.”

Oh.

“But you still have to peddle. For the descent, get off the seat and hold yourself over that back tire. One more thing: don’t use the front brake.”

Before long, those narrow cow paths weren’t nearly so frightening. Before long, we were looking for more challenging rides. Before long, I was inviting newbies to join us.

Thanks to a friend, I got the right tools; otherwise I would have been lost. And with the encouragement of others, I eventually learned the technique. Before long, I was a mountain biker.

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