May 12, 2008

Ride Your Bike to Work

It's newsletter week at church. The newsletter comes out every other week, which means that every other week, I need to write the pastor's column.

The deadline for newsletter articles is tomorrow morning. This week, I thought I'd write about how I'm getting to work....

I just found out that this week is “California Bike Commute Week,” and that Thursday is “Ride Your Bike to Work Day.” It just so happens that starting this week, I am doing just that: riding my bike to work. I’m not riding it all the way from Burbank, where I am living until mid-summer; just from the Wardlow Metro Station to Bixby Knolls Christian Church.

I have discovered so many advantages to commuting this way. While traveling, I can read or work on sermons; I’m saving money on gas; I’m getting exercise; I’m arriving at my destination relaxed (heavy traffic is very stressful); and I’m reducing my CO2 emissions by about 100 pounds per week.

The only drawback comes when I need to visit our church members or attend other meetings. Fortunately, I have discovered that Bixby Knolls Christian Church has a wonderful team of elders who are eager to visit church members and are more than willing to “give me a lift” when I need one. What a blessing they are to me and to this congregation.

Riding a bike and using public transportation in L.A. County is a counter-cultural activity. Some people in this car-dependent region just don’t “get it,” even when all the advantages are pointed out to them. (And yes, for some commutes, which might require three or more bus transfers and take half a day, it’s just not practical.) There is definitely pressure to be like “everyone else” and just drive.

Followers of Christ feel that same pressure. The culture pulls us one way, but Jesus leads us down a different path. The path of Jesus may not lead us to material wealth or worldly riches, but it does lead to spiritual satisfaction and the happiness that comes from living a meaningful life. It is the path that leads to the unconditional love of Christ’s open table.

1 comment:

Adam Gonnerman said...

I live in NJ, near NYC, and the ride your bike to work day last week fell on a pretty rainy day. I couldn't even consider it. My commute is over 25 miles through heavy traffic with no bike lane. I'd get arrested or run over.