Saturday, April 11, 2009

#36 A Flat Wheel

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

One thing I loved to do when I was growing up was ride my bike. We were far too poor to afford motorcycles so we had to make do with the motor-less motion of the bicycle. I loved riding around the old country road at my grandparents and even at my own house. Of course riding your bike is not near as much fun by yourself so I was thankful to have some buddies that lived nearby that I could ride with. I can recall us spending hours and hours on those bikes. My favorite bicycle when I was growing up was a black one that had a sparkly red-looking banana seat with a huge sissy bar on the back. For those of you born after 1980, a sissy bar was at the back of the seat and could rise up even past your head in some cases. It would resemble the end of a trombone that was fastened to the back of the bicycle seat.

This particular bike was bought for me at the flea market by my grand paw for just $20. There was a guy there that rebuilt and spiffed up old bikes and I loved this one when I first saw it. The only bad thing about the bike was that the front tire was missing some of the spokes. I am not sure how they came out but there were about 3 or 4 of them gone when I got the bike. About a month after I got it I had a wreck and when the bike fell over it landed on something lying around my grand paw’s junk yard and I ended up losing about 4 or 5 more. By this point the wheel had developed a little wobble but it was still able to be ridden upon or so I thought. I had always wondered why a wheel had spokes and not too long after losing those other spokes I found out why they were there.

My buddy and I decided to ride to the old country store that was about two miles from the house. The greatest part about riding the store, other than buying a soda when we got there, was being able to ride down the long hill that took us from one dirt road to another that wound its way back and forth through the country to the old store. My grandparents lived and my grandmother still lives in an area called Rocky Face. It is names such because of the large amounts of rock that are near the surface of the ground all over that part of the county. There were even rocky places in the road and there were even a few rocks on the nice long hill. I was just slightly ahead of my buddy that day when as I headed down the long hill my front tire struck one of those slight rock outcroppings. Normally those rocks made for some really cool natural jumps that would boost the bike into the air briefly.

This particular day saw no boost. Instead of getting a boost my front tire gave up many of the remaining spokes and the front tire actually begin to fold in on the lowest side. You do not have to be a physicist to know that semi square wheels do not roll as effectively as round ones. Yes, my bike came to a crashing halt. But thanks to inertia, I keep going and landed hands down on the old gravel road. I think I was picking small pieces of rock and dirt out of my hands for about 3 days. It was sliding into home base after jumping out of a moving vehicle. Not a good idea at all. I learned that the spokes had rusted on the inside of the rim and that is why they were breaking loose and falling out. I also learned that a wheel with too few spokes will collapse under enough pressure.

The wheel illustration reminds me of the body of Christ. Not His physical body, us the church of which He is the head. The body of Christ needs all of its spokes too, so to speak. In other words if we do not have all the parts pulling together and working for the same cause it causes us to fall apart too. I have seen churches where people were more concerned about who was in charge of what than actually reaching souls for the kingdom of Christ. When the body of Christ—a.k.a you and me—are not pulling together and working as a team then we essentially become like that broken wheel of mine. Things begin to fall apart and eventually the body becomes so weak that it loses its effectiveness.

Yes, the only reason that we have any strength at all is because Jesus is the head and He sustains and empowers us, but if you have a body of believers that refuse to work together and who pull in opposite directions until is causes a split within the body then the Holy Spirit cannot bless that spirit of confusion and strife. Eventually it will sort of be like my wheel that suddenly went flat and the church will be in a spiritual wreck. I pray that each of you who read this will determine in your mind to not be the one spoke that falls out of the wheel. I pray that you will not be the body part that ceases to function to the detriment of the rest of the body.

Dear Father,

Please help us each one to remember what Jesus has done for us. Please help us to realize that now more than ever we need Jesus. We thank You that He lived, died, and rose again that we might have victory over sin and be able to live with You for eternity. Please help us to stay focused on our tasks and to always be an effective part of the body of Christ. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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