We rode down to the beach with two main objectives. The first was to pray for people as we passed them and as we saw and talked to people along the way and at the beach. So often we go about our day without even thinking about praying for the people around us. The idea this morning was to spend some time in specific, focused prayer for the people we passed.
For myself, it was really good exercise. Not just the bike ride, which was good physical exercise, but the prayer was very good spiritual exercise. I used to be in the habit of praying for people spontaneously, but I have fallen out of that habit. I found myself able to really spend some quality time with God as I began to talk to Him about the people around me – instead of just praying about my personal struggles and trials and shortcomings, which I definitely do!!!
The other objective for the bike ride was to connect with some of our neighbors we hadn’t talked to in a while. It’s crazy that we can live within 3 or 4 blocks of people and almost never talk to them!
How can we be that busy? Well, my answer is that I’m really not that busy. I’m just comfy. It’s a little time-consuming and sometimes a little awkward to stop in for a visit. The weather is hot and the bugs are fierce, I should be washing laundry or making dinner or writing that update letter or any other of a dozen things which are pressing, but not of any eternal value.
Why do I get so caught up in the “tyranny of the urgent”? I would venture to guess that the enemy would rather me be busy-busy with household stuff so that I didn’t have time to stop in and encourage my neighbor whose father just passed away. It would be better, in the enemy’s eyes, if my house was spotless and ready for company than if I was at my elderly neighbor’s house cleaning for her.
So, our family bike ride was a success – at least for me! God used the time to really speak to my heart and to remind me what is of lasting importance.
The little kids got to swim in the ocean, too, so they were happy! I think this could become a family tradition – Church on the Beach!