Pain in the Bike

I cycled home from work on Monday. I purchased a new bicycle, courtesy of the Bike to Work Scheme. This allows employees like me to spread its cost over 12 months while Her Majesty’s Government remits a proportion of the income tax. Having a job, there is little free stuff I get from the state, so it felt quite refreshing.

Being a timid cyclist, I elected to avoid the roads and stuck to the canal towpath. It increased the commute by several miles, and the state of the path left much to be desired. Although it officially forms Route 68 of the national cycle network, the bumpy ground, the overhanging hawthorn branches and nettles leering at my bare legs would have persuaded me otherwise. 10 miles into the ride, I found a bench, dismounted and sat down. I felt like the Ethiopian of Acts 8- a eunuch sitting beside his chariot. My nether regions had not been so sore since I warranted a good hiding as a child. The following morning, the walk to the bathroom was not without a grimace, and a gel seat-cover was duly ordered.

Travelling is uncomfortable at the best of times. Last month’s airline seat from Australia was a recliner with built-in TV set, but the journey tired me out. Next month’s road trip to inspect Suffolk’s medieval churches will doubtless cause some stiff joints and an aching back. It is, of course, much more comfortable to stay put. Inertia requires no effort, no trouble, no fuel. Movement, transportation and relocation demand energy, strain and trial. If one is to better one’s location and prospects, one must move. If one is perfectly content, one may remain. We Christians are not content with this world, knowing there is somewhere better to which we belong. To this end, we press on, climbing upwards, fleeing the plain. Sometimes our posteriors ache and our feet become sore, but persevere we must.

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,

Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.

Psalm 84:5