I pedal my bicycle up behind a runner and announce myself, “Passing on your left.”
I expect a wave or a “Thanks” but instead no response.
Where we vacation, the bike and running paths are the same. Safety requires bikers not pass unless the walker or runner is aware of it, because one step to the left and catastrophe.
In fact, once I forgot to give notice, and a woman lectured me on my error, which I fully deserved.
I say it louder. “PASSING ON YOUR LEFT.”
Still no response.
I creep up beside the runner. That’s when I notice the earbuds and nearly shout, “ON YOUR LEFT.”
She never turns and only acknowledges me until I’m ahead of her.
That scenario repeated itself day after day after day. Fully half of the walkers or runners I approached were not aware of my bike until I had passed them.
I’ve biked these same paths for years and never noticed this problem. I’m all for a good podcast, and no one loves music more than me, but the island where we spend a few days every now and then is so replete with beauty, I want to absorb every bit of it. Even the sounds. Sometimes, especially the sounds—the call of the seagulls—the distant roar of the ocean. I even wanted to hear the whirr of the bicycle tires behind me or approaching footsteps.
This is not a safety post, but even so, please be careful out there. It’s a call to be in the now—to be aware of God’s gifts in the present time, and to unplug. The pandemic has caused us all to deal with our stress in different ways, and escaping is one of them. I get it, because I've had the same struggles, but being present in the moment is such a mighty thing.
In a recent Bible class, a friend was trying to remember a verse that had been significant to her. Because of the information she gave, I quoted Ephesians 3:20, “To him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us . . .”
“No, that’s not it,” she said.
But someone else read it from their Bible. “Now, to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us . . . “
“That is it,” she said, “The word, 'now,' made such a difference for me.” That word was not just a transition in language for her. She needed to know that God was at work in the now.
We can’t leave off “now’ like I did when I quoted the verse. There’s a whole lot we miss if we have plugs in our ears.
So, here’s a challenge. Let’s all take a day where we unplug and really listen to what God is doing around us—the things we might miss if we’re not intentional about listening.
And here are a few other verses with the word “now’ for consideration:
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy . . . (Jude 24).
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17).
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (I Corinthians 13:13).
For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2
Now, have a blessed day.