My Tight-fitting Bicycle Shorts

Cold CyclistHave you ever wondered why cyclists wear those super tight spandex shorts when they ride? I used to wonder that myself until I took up the hobby and my first 10 mile ride taught me why the immodest lycra sportswear is a necessity. It serves 2 purposes, really.  First, the tight fitting clothing forms to the body and prevents chaffing.  Secondly, the tautness of the shorts also serves to keep the built-in padding securely in all the right places cushioning the rider during long hours in the saddle.

But why am I explaining all this to you? Well, it’s because over the last 2 days in my shorts and on my bike I have learned something profound that goes beyond the realm of cycling, and I want to share it with you.  But first let me tell you about my ride yesterday.

My day yesterday needed to start an hour earlier than it normally would so all my morning activities had to be moved up by an hour.  When my alarm went off shortly before 6 I jumped up and hurriedly got dressed for my normal 13 mile bike ride.  As I set out, very early on I began having problems “in the saddle”… the padding in my shorts was shifting around; I was all over the seat and found it hard to ride for very long without having to shift my weight.  This isn’t normal and I began to go over in my head the various reasons why this might be happening.  First I blamed my wife; she had washed my shorts over the weekend and I thought maybe she had shrunk them… but I decided that wasn’t it because in these shorts tighter is better.  Then I wondered if my weight loss was to blame- that would make my shorts feel baggier… but they fit just fine 2 days ago so that couldn’t be it either.  Finely I blamed my bicycle seat; it must need adjusting- maybe it moved- maybe I needed to put something on the seat to keep my smooth shorts from sliding all over the place.  By the time I got home I was too tired to theorize about it anymore and I parked my bike in the driveway.  As I went up the stairs and pulled off my shirt to head for the shower a black string dangling from my waist caught my eye- I couldn’t believe it! In my rush to get my day started I had forgotten to securely tie my cycling shorts!  I figured that must have been the problem but as the day went on I began to wonder if not tying my shorts could really have been the cause.  So this morning I get up to ride and right away I tied up my shorts good and tight- like cut off circulation to my lower body tight! You know what? Five minutes into the ride I knew that the problem had been solved… and immediately the Lord began to speak to my heart.

As I pedaled along I began to realize that the string in my cycling shorts is an excellent example of the Belt of Truth that we have been given in the armor of God.  For many years now I have given priority to spending time in the Word of God, reading each morning and taking that time to gird myself up with the truth of scrscripture-of-the-dayipture.  But from time to time life gets in the way of my devotion and sometimes for a few days or even for a week or two my daily time in the Word gets neglected.  I was talking with a friend at the pool last week about those times and his experience reflects my own.  In those times when I’m not taking time to daily tighten that belt of truth things start getting slippery for me in life.  Just like loose shorts left me with a loose and uncomfortable connection to my bike saddle a slackness in the belt of truth leaves me with a loose and slippery connection to One who is my foundation.  And the problem is that in those times that I don’t always recognize immediately that a loose belt is the problem- and just like with the cycling shorts incident I start playing the blame game to explain why I feel so insecure and untethered in my connection to the Father.  Sometimes I blame the people around me thinking I’m being negatively influenced or at the very least not fully supported by them.  Other times I assume that maybe I’ve just changed from who I used to be and what I used to need and I need something new to make me feel more secure.  And worst of all, sometimes I blame God Himself thinking that HE must be the one who changed and is for some reason withdrawing from me.  But in the end none of those things are the real reason.  What I am experiencing in those times isn’t as much a connection problem as much as a truth problem; I am not wrapping myself as securely in His truth as should.  Time after time I go through these disconnected and shaky periods in faith and time after time I find that the solution is found in a return to a daily “tightening of the belt” by time spend with His Truth.

I worry that far too many of us are out there every day shifting our weight around in the saddle seeking a better connection and we’re looking everywhere but the right place for a solution.  We’re blaming others, ourselves, and even blaming God for the instability we feel when the true issue is we aren’t daily girding our loins with the Truth of scriptures.  Getting your belt adjusted once a week with the scriptures the pastor uses from the pulpit will never make you secure in the saddle.  The stability and connection you seek will only be found as you yourself lace up daily with the truth of the Bible.  Try it out yourself and you tell me what a difference it will make.