Biking For Miles And Yet Going Nowhere

This is the thought that struck me last week as I found myself in the middle of a “spinning” class… feverishly pedaling a stationary bike headed for nowhere with 34 other “riders.”  

In an effort to keep my conditioning regimen somewhat diverse I find myself attending this free spinning class once or twice a week at the Aspen Health Club in West Des Moines.   For forty-five grueling minutes the person teaching this class leads us all on an imaginary ride to nowhere with music blaring according to the ride we’re being taken on that particular day.  Nothing like the great indoors!

The only thing that is real about any of this is the sweat that begins to fall to the ground from my body fifteen minutes or so into the  “ride.”   I take careful note of when the first drop of sweat actually falls to the ground.  It’s amazing how close it is to fifteen minutes into the ride.

By the end of the ride there is always a large pool of sweat beneath me.  As I look around  I notice that most other bikers have not  had so much as a single drop of sweat fall to the ground…other than the one time that a very large man  joined us for one class.  I haven’t seen him since.  I hope he is ok but man did he sweat!

About 10 minutes into the class the instructor hops off her bike and turns on two powerful wall mounted swiveling fans to keep us cool.  This class takes place in a room that I would guess to be about 35 X 20 feet.  I did some math and determined that 35 people biking at an average speed of 20 miles/hr. or so would collectively cover approximately 500 miles in just 45 minutes…and all without leaving the confines of this 700 square foot room.

Just think of that.  Five hundred miles and yet not actually going anywhere!  Makes me wonder how many people are simply going through the motions of life and though outwardly may appear to be fine, inwardly their souls are nearly, or entirely, shriveled up.

In the Bible the Prophet Isaiah (in Ch. 55:1-3a) commands  people to do some things but none so inviting as the conditional commands, that if obeyed, will lead to life to our souls!   In the following three verses I have highlighted each imperative:

Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come buy and eatCome, buy wine and milk without money and without price.  Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?  Listen diligently to me (God), and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.  Incline your ear, and come to me (God); hear, that your soul may live…”

Spinning classes where one travels for miles and yet never goes anywhere and in the end leaves a pool of sweat behind and a physical body that is in a little better shape OR the promise of everlasting happiness and joy and a soul that truly lives.  Hmmm.   Which sounds better?  My aim is to do the latter without neglecting the former…though with a full understanding that my hope in life is not in the physical condition of this earthly temple. 

Who knows what life lessons await us if we have ears to hear and eyes to see, unfulfilled delights that need fulfilling, and lifeless souls that need to live?  Spinning Class. I would encourage you to think about these things the next time you are on a stationary bike working hard and going nowhere.

Any thoughts?


One thought on “Biking For Miles And Yet Going Nowhere”

  1. I have not taken a spinning class, although I have always wondered why one wants to go through all the efforts to go nowhere. Yet I do know the physical effect of being in better shape. I would rather go for a bike ride in Jester Park or a hike and sweat in the great outdoors then indoors; leaving a trail of sweat, instead of a puddle. Through this season of my life I sometimes feel the motions and yes like you said “though outwardly may appear to be fine, inwardly my soul feels shriveled up.” Praise the Lord because I thirst for His words and want to Listen diligently to His words and eat what is good and delight in rich foods, that yes my soul will live.

    With all this being said, I feel like I should work off these love handles of mine while eating a snickers bar and reading a good book! 🙂

    Love You Pastor Mike!


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