Published April 5, 2011

Shelia Shares....
"Catching Up"

I pulled my car up to the corner, ready to make my "right turn on red." But, as I checked again, I saw four bikers waiting to cross the street. With no alternative, I sat and watched them.

They were properly dressed for biking. They each wore a biking helmet. They wore those tight-fitting biking clothes that are supposed to cut down on wind resistance. The guys were clean-cut and the girls had their hair tied back into ponytails. The four of them looked ready to ride.

Their bikes looked well-maintained. They were shiny. From the way they held them, they were lightweight. The equipment was right.

The light turned green and they were off. At least, three of them were off. It seemed like those three mounted, began to pedal and were across the intersection in one fluid move. Obviously, they were experienced bikers.

The fourth biker, a girl, had a little trouble. She saw the green light and tried to mount. It was a false start. She tried again. The bike wobbled. Finally, she got on the bike and was able to begin to pedal and move across the intersection. She had to work harder than anyone in mounting - and much harder than anyone to catch up to her friends.

Sometimes those of us who have been Christians for a longer time forget what it was like to start out on the Christian life journey. Little things like intersections make us stop momentarily, but soon we are on the move again. We know those quick stops come — so they don't throw us off our stride.

Do we fail to see that some of our friends, newer Christians, are bothered by the "intersections?" Do we notice when they don't have a smooth start?

Even though all of us might be wearing the proper clothes, looking the part, talking the talk, walking the walk, we might not be equals. Our "equipment" might be matching and perfect for the Christian life. But, the life experience isn't there. Do we notice a wobble?

While our newer brothers or sisters are working harder to catch up, what do we do? Do we keep on with our journey and assume they'll soon be with us? Do we laugh at their struggles? Do we berate them for not keeping up? Do we lend a helping hand or share a smile? Or do we pray with and for them? Do we let them know that we care?

We might all be dressed appropriately and fitted out with the proper equipment, but because of experience and circumstances, we might not all advance at the same rate. Will you care enough to "ride" beside the less experienced Christian? Will you slow your own journey enough to be sure your newer friends don't fall along the way?

Who are you encouraging today?

- Shelia

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