The bikes rolled effortlessly down the road. Each member of the group moving up in the pace line to take their turn at the front. With each pedal stroke the line between man and machine blurred slightly until we were nothing more than a group of brightly colored shapes flying through the early evening air.
I occasionally looked down at my bike computer and saw black digital numbers staring back at me. These numbers were bigger than I was accustomed to. “I’m doing really well,” I thought. “Maybe I should become a pro cyclist.” I moved up the pace line and took my turn at the front.
With my pull over and the bikes returned to their stables, I went back to my computer to see how well we had done on the ride. The numbers displayed on the computer screen were much lower than what I remembered seeing when I was out riding. I was disappointed, the Tour de France would have to wait another year.
How come there was such a discrepancy between my average speed and what I saw when riding? I wondered settling in to my lazy boy. It was then I realized that while riding I looked down at my computer only when doing well. Only when I was feeling good, when we were going down a hill I would glance down and see how fast we were going. I wouldn’t look at my speed when going uphill or when pedaling into a stiff headwind. Those slower more difficult times brought down my average considerably.
We need to remember that when it comes to our faith, not to fixate on the good times. Not to focus only on all the good that we have done and believe it is enough to guarantee our salvation. Those good things we have done are always balanced out by our sins and failures. Live life the best you can, use the sacrament of reconciliation and hopefully the average is good enough to get to heaven.