Those of you that know me will know that I had an unfortunate climbing accident back in January that put me out of action for a long time. Aside from the physical injuries, one of the biggest hurdles I am faced with is the huge knock my confidence has taken and getting back to performing as I used to is going to be tough.
In the last week I have taken the time to get back on my road bike to try and get back some of my fitness and my confidence.
After a small ride the previous day to get re-accustomed to my spd pedals, I headed out on a ride from Bamburgh to Holy Island – not a long ride, about 16 miles but a good ride with great views and quiet roads which promised to be a helpful boost to my recovery.
What really struck me on this ride was just how much I noticed the small things. After being a confident and experienced mountain biker for many years this felt like going back to basics – small rocks, slippy tarmac and crosswinds all felt like massive obstacles. One of the most memorable obstacles was a simple railway crossing.
This simple crossing that wouldn’t have even registered to me a year ago really brought it home just how much of my confidence has been knocked – the rails felt slippy, the trains and cars felt close – irrational fears that creep in when your confidence is low.
Other road users, both cars and bikes, simply flew over these tracks without a thought for me nervously wobbling my way across.
As so called ‘experienced’ Christians it is easy to forget what it was like when you were starting or restarting out on your journey. As with the cars that were flying past me as I was crossing the train line, it is easy to forget how imposing these obstacles are to the less confident.
We need to remember what it was like back at the beginning when the smallest of obstacles are huge blockages on your Christian journey. As with the rail tracks – Biblical passages and views can be difficult for people to understand and as Christians it is our duty to recognise these obstacles and assist people through them rather than simply driving past.
This week try and get along side someone who is new in their faith and try to look beyond your own confidence and strive to identify what might be the railway crossing on their journey. Even if the obstacles are not clear we can and should be ready and willing to help people on their continuing journey in faith.