Tomorrow I have an olympic distance triathlon, and it is gearing up to be a perfect race day! Today, however, was less than perfect (though the weather was beautiful). I had a really light workout to do, an easy spin on my bike just to prep my body for the race tomorrow. I rode with my friend Louise on the Sammamish River Trail to the Velodrome at Marymoor Park where I planned to practice a few transitions. Before arriving at the Velodrome, however, an unfortunate incident occurred--I fell! We were about to pass some other bike riders, making sure to say the obligatory "On your left" to let them know we were passing, when they decided to turn off of the trail right in front of our path. Louise came to a quick stop in front of me, and I wasn't paying close enough attention to follow suit: I crashed into her and then fell to the side, partly on pavement and, thankfully, partly on grass. It was the worst fall I've had so far on my bike, which is quite the feat considering this was a really easy ride. Nonetheless, I survived with just a few scrapes and bruises, both on me and my bike. Everything else seemed to be in good working order. I got up and brushed the grass off of myself, and we continued onward to the Velodrome. Later, after I got back home, I looked my bike over in more detail and discovered that one of the chain links was chipped. I grunted in frustration and then drove it to the local bike shop where they put a new chain on my bike.
Why is it that bad things seem to crop up at the most inconvenient of times, often right before some important event or something you've been looking forward to for some time? Another example of this happened the day before my husband and I were to leave on vacation--the battery to our only car died. In the end it worked out, but it definitely caused a lot of stress. In some ways, it's similar to spiritual battles. When there is something that God wants us to do--perhaps read the Bible, or call a friend just because, or invite someone out for lunch--sin and Satan are right there to tempt us to turn away, causing our downfall. Perhaps the phone rings just before sitting down to read, or we can't think of a good reason to call that friend (even though we don't really need one), or life is just too busy to ask someone to lunch. It's not that any of these circumstances are inherently wrong, but we must be prepared to battle that which gets in the way of doing what is right, to put on the armor of God. We could silence our phone, tell that friend we were just thinking about them, and make room in our schedule for lunch. One of my current downfalls is checking my email before going to bed, making it next to impossible to fall asleep. Equipped with the armor of God, I would be able to resist checking my email, knowing I will be better off if I don't. Yet we all will fall at some point in our lives, and when we do, we just need to get back up, brush off the grass, and keep going. Afterwards, we'll have scar stories to share and encourage others with!