We’re back in Hill Country again. The foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains.
The place that gives bicycling new meaning. Where what goes UP must come DOWN… and vice versa!
The place of Heartbreak Hill.
It’s a hill we discovered this past summer on a route that added some mileage to our workout. A “one-one” hill… meaning we had to shift our gears to the easiest pressure possible so our legs and lungs could survive as we literally inched our way to the crest.
But the other direction? Maybe we should call it Headbreak Hill!
The kind of hill where speed quickly increases beyond the point of exhilaration… all the way to real Danger. Where hitting even a small acorn would turn a high-flying ride into a crash of mangled metal and flesh.
We have to be MINDFUL there — focused, vigilant and self-controlled. We can’t afford to be MINDLESS — distracted, inattentive or reckless. To “flirt”with danger there would almost certainly result in falling “head over heels.” Not unlike what happens to many first-time loves. The ones that end badly.
Can you feel the “love”? OUCH! 🙁
Lord! Isn’t that exactly what happens where temptation is concerned? I had a “close encounter” with this phenomenon just yesterday.
You have been leading me on a new path for over three months now. And, by Your Spirit, I have been following You.
It is not something I would have done by my own willpower. But You have also made clear to me that I must choose to cooperate with You.
You will take me anywhere I let You. But You will not force me to go anywhere I refuse to go… even if staying where I am spells D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R.
“If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
“‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.'” (Zechariah 4:6)
“I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose Life…” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
A temptation came to me yesterday. One small thought appearing on my path… out of nowhere. An acorn of a thought.
In what seemed like an instant, a rush of other thoughts filled my mind. Lies that wanted to pull me downhill with ever-increasing speed.
I was aware of a moment of exhilaration. I was aware of how easy and pleasurable it would be to mindlessly give in to the lies and fly down that “hill.”
Suddenly, I was also aware of the Danger. And of my power — infused with Your Power — to avoid it. A new thought burst into my mind: The Truth!
“I don’t have to go down this hill!”
So I didn’t!!!
My spiritual Heartbreak Hill. Victory over temptation! How did I come out of that close encounter?
Strengthened by the workout. “Stoked” by the outcome. Smarter about acorns, too. About spotting them and smashing them by being MINDFUL… not mindless.
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
Growing in surrender,