Commit to the Curve

Have you ever gone into a curve a little faster than you’re used to?  Or maybe once you started into the curve, you saw that it was sharper than you first thought?

It’s happened to most of us.

In Parker’s Ride VII, I was riding a mountain pass – it was misty, late in the day.  I was tired and had about 400 miles to go.  I was clipping along at a good speed and came up on a curve sooner than I expected.  A lot can happen in a split second.  I checked to see what was around me – no cars in sight.  Looking ahead, no gravel or leaves that might upset traction.  I knew the physics and I understood the risks.  Either slow down and manage the instability before the lean, or lean more than normal, take the curve at current speed and hope that I didn’t slide out.

You probably know where my head was in that split second decision.  The bike is designed for this type of situation.  With good tires at proper pressure, a motorcycle will remain moving forward, barring any unexpected road debris.

But in real life, it’s not that easy.  Making matters worse, if I decided to lean into the curve, then choked and backed off in the middle, I may have ended up sliding down the pavement or, in this case, off the mountain.

I decided to trust the science and commit to the curve.

After leaning a bit more than I’m used to, I let out an involuntary whoop as I pulled out of the curve and straightened up, reminding me once again why I love riding a motorcycle.  The adrenaline rush got me through the remainder of the ride.

Commitment is a subtle combination of faith, experience and knowledge.  It’s actually a two-step process – making the decision to commit is only part of it.

The harder part is following through.

In Romans 12:1-2, Paul invites us into a commitment of Christian Life.  It’s a decision to live as a member of the body of Christ and leave the world behind.  After issuing the call, he immediately tells us that we each will have a different way to live out this commitment.  My way is not yours, neither is your way anyone else’s.

From here until Romans 15:6, Paul shows us the marks of a true Christian and gives us practical advice on following through to remain steadfast in our commitment.

Think about that for a moment.  In this short segment of a letter that Paul wrote to a church which he had never visited, we are invited into a community, given practical advice on how to remain steadfast in our commitment to this community, and given freedom to live within the community in the way most convenient to our personalities and talent.  We are told that as we grow in knowledge and we experience the richness of the Gospel, our faith increases.

That is compelling.

But in real life, it’s not that easy.  Thankfully, Paul has given us a blueprint.  We just have to trust the science and commit.

Further Reading …

This post referenced Romans 12:1 – Romans 15:6.