Friday, February 12, 2010

Coasting

Sometimes I think that I am like a little kid. For example, I have a motorcycle. Even though it is only two years old, it has “kissed the pavement” a few times. It has no mirrors or blinkers, the front fender is broken off, the brakelight does not work, the front brakes do not work, and the horn—most important part of a moto in Bolivia by the way—doesn’t toot. However, I love riding this wreck (or wrecking this ride).

We live way up in the Andes Mountains. To give you a little perspective, our house is 3,000ft higher than the Mile High City. The valley of Cochabamba, where our city is, is surrounded on all sides by Mountains from 14,000 to 17,000ft. Our house is up on the edge of a 15,000 mountain. While we still live ‘in the city’, only 6 minutes from downtown, we are on the edge with no other houses behind us. We are up the hill.

Here is what I like to do. I get on my moto and give it one very small push with my foot. Then I coast. I actually go faster coasting than when I drive. I feel like a stealth biker, sneaking up on enemy dogs. My goal is to pass them undetected. I coast for about 3 kilometers before I have to turn on the main road. (you can see this main road on our website, the video of Diá de Peaton).

However, I have never coasted up hill. On the contrary, I ran out of gas on the way home one time, and had to push the moto about 2 kilometers to a station. It was a lot harder pushing than riding, and uphill was way more difficult than downhill.

Coasting is fun, but it only takes you down. It can’t carry you up and away. That is how it is in our spiritual lives also. When we first arrived on the mission field, church was difficult due to language barriers. It was hard to concentrate on our spiritual growth—which seems really weird for a missionary to say—because all of life was such a challenge. This wasn’t that big of a problem for a few weeks, since we could coast. We had a lot of momentum to ride on.

However, as the weeks went by, I ran out of momentum, and discovered I was also out of gas. I was dry and empty, and at a standstill. It was time to fill up. I had to repent of my complacency and once again run to Calvary.

If I were honest with you, I would have to say that a lot of my spiritual life has been this cycle. I don’t know why other than my weak flesh and wimpy will—because I love it when my tank if full and I am zooming through life with an open throttle. But, what I tend to do is lean back, enjoy the wind in my hair, watch the scenery zip by, and then slowly come to a standstill.

I am committed to stopping stopping. (not a mistake). I want to follow in my spiritual life the policy we follow here in our physical lives with our autos. Since we never know if we are going to have to leave the country in a hurry due to political unrest, we try to not let our cars get below ½ tank of fuel. I tell the teens, ½ = empty. We ALWAYS have plenty of gas in the car. I love it here when you tell the gas station person to fill up your car. There is no auto shutoff on the hose. They fill it up to the brim, and then…seriously, they shake your car back and forth and fill it up again, then shake your car and fill it up again. When you say “Lleno por favor” (fill it up), they take you literally and there simply is no room for more.

In my spiritual life, I want to always have a full tank. This should be easy, since I am always in the Presence of the One Who fills me. All I have to do is acknowledge that a little has been used up, need to top ér off please. The Holy Spirit will fill you up, shake you, and then fill it up again. When you leave, your cup is running over and you have joy unspeakable and full of glory—so why in the world do we ever run out?

So…as you read this article right now, where is your heartgauge? Are you topped off and zooming—or maybe you have been coasting for a while. It could be that you stopped coasting a long time ago and have even forgotten what the feel of movement is like.

Look ahead…standing there ready to fill you up…it is Jesus. Just pull in and ask.

See You In July!

Joe

1 comments:

Caris said...

FANTASTIC challenge! "Enemy dogs" lol... Philippians 3:2 "Beware of dogs..." Your hate is justified. :)