Saturday, June 15, 2019



I find bicycle noise quite irritating.  In fact, there are times when I will deliberately use ear buds and music to block out annoying bicycle noises…particularly, when I cannot find the source of the noise.  The obnoxious noise continued as I continued to navigate the bi-ped. This specific noise had been my bane for weeks if not months.  Every time I pump a pedal, the click and creak would resonate through my ears and whole body.  In my efforts to eliminate the sound, I had tightened my chainring bolts, replaced the chainring, tightened the cassette, secured the steer tube, lubricated the chain, tightened my hubs, cleaned and re-secured the steer tube, replaced the brakes, greased and tightened the pedals, I even went so far as to replace the bottom bracket…nothing eliminated the racket.

Every time I saddled up and rode, I would find myself listening carefully trying to identify the source of the clamor.   At one point I was bending my head down…listening intently…looking down at my chain…cassette…hubs…etc…trying to find any indicator of the cause.  When BAM…a parked car jumped right out in front of me and I ran smack dab into the backside of the small hybrid.  Who parked this car here? At this point I did what most people would do…I made it look like I knew what I was doing and that I meant to run into the back of the vehicle…while simultaneously glancing casually around to see if anyone had witnessed my embarrassing snafu.  Then, I rode away…wondering…“Why is my bike making a new ‘womp, womp, womp,’ sound?”

Here I was…extremely focused on discovering the cause of a mechanical problem, so that it could be repaired…only to miss a much bigger picture in front of me…a large white automobile! Tunnel vision is a natural response to the circumstantial elements in our lives.  When a problem arises, it is only reasonable to focus on the issue at hand.  When your wedding anniversary is speedily approaching, it is only reasonable to focus all of your energy and attention to ensure your wife’s happiness…or at the very least scramble enough to make it “look” like all of your attention has been on her for the last week and a half.  It can sometimes be beneficial to order some gifts from Amazon the day before her birthday that will never arrive in time…only to save them for your anniversary…just remember where you hid them.

In Daniel 9:20-27, as Daniel is continuing his prayer, we find God give an answer. Yet, what is perhaps most striking to me, is that while Daniel is praying about the “end of the exile,” God’s answer actually gives Daniel a much larger picture.  While Daniel’s focus and concern is on the end of the 70 year exile…God’s focus is on the 500 years to come…which will culminate in the astounding work of grace that Jesus gives us on the cross!

Daniel’s perspective isn’t bad…it is just short. God wants Daniel to see the big picture of what he is doing…offering grace to mankind!  Noises of life can often distract us from the bigger picture…whether bicycle noise, interpersonal conflicts, unfinished jobs at home or at the office.  Perhaps the next time we run into a car with our bicycle…or smash our face into a  light post as you are looking for pennies on the sidewalk, or get down about the rain on our wedding day, we can be reminded to turn off the noise and look to the great and glorious picture of grace…and a bigger picture that there is still MORE TO COME!

I replaced the chain...and he sound was gone.

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