i have to admit i really like instant results. i want to push hard and see results and often if i don’t see the results i give up and move on to the next thing. i’ve always had a difficult time committing to things indefinitely. If i can convince myself it’s not forever i can usually make myself concede and/or relent and commit. These are not exactly the kind of character traits i want emblazoned as part of my epithet on my tombstone. In fact, just yesterday i had somewhat of an epiphany about the way i’ve spent the last 35 years of my life approaching things. See i bought this exercise bike to see if i would actually make myself commit to exercising at least 4-6 times a week before i bought a more expensive piece of equipment i “think” i want. i put it together last Saturday and used it 3 times last week. i really really really dreaded it though and i was giving up at or before the 10 minute mark, which seemed completely fruitless and not worth the commitment . i mean if i thought about riding it my legs already hurt. So yesterday morning when i got on the dreaded bike to ride it, i was ready to give up within 2 minutes of climbing on the thing. Then something inside me said to quit pushing so hard and quit trying to pedal so quickly, that slow and steady would build the endurance i’ve been lacking and need. i felt this was counterintuitive to my goal for exercising, so with some reluctance i quit pushing so hard and quit trying to pedal like i was in race and for the first time i was able to pedal for a longer period of time and felt as if i could actually succeed at this exercising thing. i realized it was no longer a choice between pushing hard and pedaling quickly or all together quitting the commitment, it actually could be slow and steady and i can get there. It may take longer, but i’ll be building endurance and that’s a good thing. All day long i continued to center myself on that phrase, “slow and steady” and i realized the bike was just a metaphor for this pilgrimage. This pilgrimage i’m on with Jesus started a long time ago and i’ve had commitment issues along the way and i’ve flitted between all or nothing more times than i’d like to admit and i have had an insatiable need for instant results. But this pilgrimage is slow and steady and it’s building endurance and a capacity for commitment. i’m getting there, slow and steady, even if i didn’t realize that was what was happening. i’m finding transformation in this pilgrimage and it’s coming in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it looks like healing, sometimes it looks like honesty and vulnerability, sometimes it looks like openness, sometimes it looks like having courage to go do things alone that i’ve always done with other people, sometimes it looks like believing, sometimes it looks like giving, sometimes it looks like not sending that email i desperately want to send, sometimes it looks like trying and not giving up when i don’t see results, sometimes it looks like forgiveness, and sometimes it looks like committing. It is slow and steady, this pilgrimage, but i’m learning to not pedal so hard or so fast so that i can enjoy the moments and the scenery before me.