It doesn’t matter how hard you work or how much you sweat. The scenery never changes, you don’t move, and there’s no sense of progress or arrival.
Riding outside, effort changes the outcome. Ride harder, move faster, go farther, get back quicker. But inside, none of that matters. Lots of effort, little effort, it all gets you the same place—nowhere.
Outside, you can lean on personal experience. When a hill’s really tough, you remember when you climbed a tougher one. If you feel like you can’t crank another mile you remember other times when you felt the same way and kept going.
That’s how hope works. Faith looks back at milestones, experiences, stories, and promises fulfilled. Hope lets you move confidently forward, based on that faith.
But in the garage, there’s no horizon and no milestones. There’s just endless cranking with no apparent reason or result.
I think life seems sometimes like a bike on a trainer in a garage. No horizon. No sense of progress. No destination. Hopeless.
Except—hopeless is a lie. Always.
It’s true that the garage contains no milestones. But I look back a little farther to springs and summers when my winter training’s been rewarded with improved riding. I remember that training isn’t all about immediate comfort and reward. I see milestones, experiences, stories, and promises fulfilled.
It doesn’t make the garage magically less dreary. It does foster hope, and hope can sustain me through a lot of boring winter training sessions.
Life’s long-term because God’s long-term. We read the Bible, remember the stories, and recall the milestones as reminders of God’s promises faithfully kept.
Then, on dreary days in the garage or the doctor’s office or wherever we confront fear and uncertainty, we can look forward with hope based on faith in those promises.
I think we work pretty hard at remembering what we ought to forget.
Maybe, in the process, we forget what we desperately need to remember.
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