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Lessons Learned From Cycling About Aging In Ministry – Part 3

Yesterday I spent some time talking about my bike and some of the reminders it has lent me concerning aging in ministry.  As I look at the next two parallels that came to mind on that August ride with Jeff, the first one beckons back to the bike itself.
Stop Looking To Always Upgrade Your Ride & Enjoy The One You Have
I mentioned yesterday that the Cannondale that I am currently riding is about 15-20 years old.  Now, I am like most guys.  I like toys.  I read Bicycling magazine every month.  I go to bike shops.  Yes, I drool over those sweet carbon frames that weigh less than the jeans I’m wearing today.  My eyes get big when I see these new, sleek, gorgeous, shiny bikes.  I sit and think about how I can come up with $3000 or more to buy a new bike – one that is certainly more bike than I need. But, they’re so sweet. Lust is always a problem for guys.  And I’m not even talking about women.  We lust and we covet new stuff, new toys, new gadgets.  We tend to like stuff.  And in that sin we tend to forget to be grateful for the things that God has provided.  I don’t need a $3000 bike (after all, $2000 would really buy just about what I want).  My Cannondale is perfectly fine and a huge improvement over the steel-framed Trek I had.  And the wheels I have – they’re good, too.  So are the Shimano 105 components.  I really don’t need $1000 wheels and Dura-Ace equipment (if you’re not into cycling, just ignore the tech talk).
Why is it that even in ministry, we tend to always think the grass is greener somewhere else (someone once said the reason the grass looks greener is because there’s a lot more manure spread there)?  Why do we always think that, especially as we get older, that we better make some moves to “move up” before it’s too late?  Maybe we need to learn and practice contentment.  Maybe we need to bloom where we’re planted.  Maybe we need to let God move when He wants to move, and otherwise stay put and enjoy the ride He has put us on.  Let’s stop looking to always upgrade.  You know, every upgrade costs something – time, energy and money.
Having Someone Riding With You Who Knows The Way Is Helpful
I lived in Lancaster for a year and a half.  I didn’t do much exploring during that time.  I was too busy finishing up schooling to be out riding a bike around.  So as much as I love riding in Lancaster because it is so peaceful, I really have no idea where I am going out there unless I’m on a major road.  I could mount my phone to the handlebars and get the GPS going.  But riding with someone who knows where he is going is much more helpful.
As those of us who are getting older in ministry, we have an obligation to help show the way to those behind us who are younger.  On the other hand, we need to be engaged with someone who is older than us and has gone before us and can help us figure out where we’re going.  I think it behooves us to always find ourselves being mentored and mentoring at the same time.
Well, tomorrow is my day off so I won’t be posting the fourth part of these lessons.  But look for them on Friday as I try to unpack the parallels between cycling and aging in ministry by looking at ::
Seasons and Accessories
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About Rich Landosky

I'm married and my wife and I have two incredible children. I am the Associate Pastor of Ministry Development @ New Life Church of Toms River, NJ. Prior to taking this position in November 2016, I spent the last 32 years in local church student ministry. Big NY Yankees and Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Besides my family and spending time with them, I love music, riding my '92 Harley-Davidson Sportster, cycling, and messing with techy stuff.

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