In an effort to kill two expensive birds with one stone, I have started to ride my bike to work at least a couple of times a week. The first bird is fuel costs and the second, my unhealthy weight! Things have been going well the past few weeks and I believe I’m ready for longer rides soon.
Yesterday, an accident occurred in front of our church property. An SUV was hit by another car. The crash sent the SUV barreling towards our church property until it hit a transformer in front of our church. This immediately caused a loss of power on our property as well as the surrounding neighborhood. We realized how much we depended on computers so work would have to happen elsewhere.
After changing into my gear, I hopped on my bike and started to head home. After a few moments I realized that I wasn’t getting us much traction as I usually do and pedaling became very laborious. I took off my headphones and heard that squeaky, rubbery sound all riders hate to hear. I have a flat tire! I was still almost 3 miles away from home and decided to go ahead and walk the rest of the way.
After about half a mile I passed a gas station and I thought about filling up the tire and riding as much as I can until it needs air again. There was another gas station another mile down. Maybe if I fill it up every time I pass a gas station, I can make it home sooner. Then I wondered, “Would I do more damage in the long run to my tires by riding it with decreasing air pressure?”
How often we find ourselves in a similar predicament in our Christian lives? We try to move forward spiritually with a flat tire. And instead of properly fixing the flat, we try to fill it with enough air until we make it to the next church service. We will face enough challenges in our lives that will, in and of itself, cause us to be worn down. Sometimes it can even hurt!
But the solution is not in addressing the symptoms. When I finally took my bike in the shop, the worker told me that there was a big gash by the valve stem. He said that unless the tire was purposely slashed by a person, the area around the stem just wears out and cracks due to the hot sun and many miles of riding. It’s an uncommon way to get a flat and no amount of gel will cover it.
Likewise, we can try to simply confess the sin (and we should) and cover it. But the Bible says in Proverbs 28:13 that we must confess and forsake it. Simply confessing and covering sin is like putting air in tires that have a gash on it. The intended effects of the air won’t last!
The filling we must seek when we experience a spiritual flat tire is not found in serving others. It is found in the person of the Holy Spirit. God tells us in Ephesians 5:18 to be “filled with the Spirit.” It is the Spirit that guides us into all truth, including the truth about ourselves and the sins we possess. When He shines the spotlight of God’s Word into our hearts, we can find the source of the leak. Then as we confess it, God promises to forgive it. As someone once wisely said, “The heart of the problem is a problem with the heart.”
The spiritual flat tires we experience can be resolved as we remove those that can cause a gash in our lives- the bitterness, anger, clamor, evil speaking, etc. Replace those “flat tire causes” with kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness. As you do, you’ll ride along this Christian life happier and filled with more joy than you can ever imagine. Don’t ride around life with a flat tire!