Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sitting on Someone's Wheel

A few days ago, I went for a bike ride on the road.  The weather was perfect,  the sun was out, it wasn't too hot...everything was wonderful.  I did a familiar 17-mile loop, and it felt a lot like home.  In the winter, I miss the freedom, speed and head-clearing that riding outside provides.

As I rounded a turn towards my favorite section of the ride, the road that goes right along the Cantigny golf course, I rode in behind another cyclist.  He was older than me, and clearly in better shape than I was.  He went at it hard, but I was able to keep up with him.  I am not sure if I followed proper road etiquette, but I fell into his draft as we crossed beautiful prairie and rolling hills (which are hard to come by around here).  Over those 3 miles, he tapped out a strong tempo.  I had to push hard to stay with him.  At the end of the road, he went one way and I went another.

Drafting is a specific skill in cycling that is all about efficiency.  One rider has to ride as close as they can to the other rider's back tire.  The rear rider can save as much as 30% of their energy by riding in a draft.  The front rider is able to set a pace that is faster than either could sustain by themselves.

As I thought about those short 3 miles, I saw this as a great illustration of mentorship.  When we do life in community with people that are further along down to road, we are able to glean wisdom and live in their "draft."  They speak into our lives and can help us to ride at a spiritual pace that is above how we could live our life on our own.

So here is the question: Who do you have that is helping you grow? Who are you drafting in your life? 

If you don't have those sorts of relationships around you, here is your chance.

Grab a chapter of scripture, a person you are close to (or someone you would like to be close to) and a cup of coffee and spend 30 minutes reading, asking questions and challenging each other to be more like Christ.