Challenge. It will be historic for at least one reason. The race will
include two 12,000 foot passes--Cottonwood (12,126) and Independence (12,
085). The first twelve miles up Cottonwood is on dirt! It will challenge
the more than 120 pro racers from 12 nations, chiefly because of an altitude
most of these racers are unaccustomed to facing. Performance in that thin
of air is necessarily reduced. Bicyclists have to guard against going too
fast or too slow. They must find that right "middle gear" and essentially
stay in it consistently.
Isn't that the way it goes? Stay contented in a spiritual rut, traveling
the low roads, and you can pretty well coast along. But, strive to climb to
new heights and the challenge really begins! Pushing yourself out there to
evangelize is uncomfortable and in some cases hard. Being distinct and
different from the world when such is demanded by the Bible is difficult.
Defending an unpopular Bible truth can be painful! Being an active,
involved father and devoted husband can be inconvenient and time-intensive.
Involvement in church work, faithfulness to church services, self-discipline
in personal spirituality, and the like produce stiff challenges in our
"upward call" (Phil. 3:14). Bible terminology calls the "heavenward way"
narrow and difficult (Mat. 7:13-14). We need help to make it to that "rock
that is higher than" us (cf. Ps. 61:2). The truth is that while climbing
those new heights gets easier with practice and experience, it will always
be more difficult to reach up to God than to remain content and comfortable
in the valley of mediocrity! Accept the challenge of true Christianity and