The Saddle an Altar

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Barely brazing 85 percent of my maximum heart rate, I slug up Irons mountain on a crisp spring afternoon, blue bird day with the sun taking intermittent breaks behind sparse puffy clouds feels nice but a harbinger of what summer has in stock. Suddenly it strikes my how many parallels can be drawn between cycling and one’s spiritual walk, I ponder this while looking out into the cadenza of yellows, reds and varying shades of blue stratification that would require a true tetrachromic  to appreciate I juxtapose my spiritual growth with my improvement in the saddle over the course of my riding “career”. Just 2 year ago the idea of riding up this cat3 climb on a bicycle would have been totally absurd to me, the first time I made it to the top the only vista I enjoyed was watching the snot and sweat cocktail run from my face to the tarmac as I desperately toiled to reach some negative elevation figures, today however I can pedal up the same climb, hold a conversation (albeit limited) and still notice the curve of the road as it sneaks its way down the mountain, I am soothed by the vengance with which the leaves on the tree are reborn, I notice how this calls up in me an awe for a Creator. Something inside, something fundamental feels summoned, I feel a sense of privileged to somehow be willing and able to take the time to commune with the creator. A month after I gave my life to Christ I very nearly threw the towel in, I remember at a church service saying to God “this is too hard, I have tried all I can but its just too hard” I decided I was returning to my old life the minute I left that service that night, needless to say God spoke to me in a real way that night making me believe John 6:37. Just like riding if we stay with it we develop spiritual muscle/spiritual endurance with time.


Before I ever fell into cycling, I asked God to help me as I start trying to live for him to get connected to the right people I knew some old friendships had to go and I needed support beyond family. He answered me by sending me a friend in the form of a Giant Rincon 26″, one not with triflow instead of blood coursing through its vein. A friend that if I look hard enough and listen well enough becomes an altar a vessel through which I could be with God.

2 thoughts on “The Saddle an Altar

  1. Blessed. I can totally relate to this, my guitar has thought me a lot about the cross.
    God bless you for this. #strong

  2. Beautifully written from the heart, Mandela. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and please continue to write more in this blog. We are blessed to have you in our family and will always support you in your spiritual journey.

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