The wheels on the bike go round and round, round and round, round and round…all through the class.
It was my first day teaching. And the whirring indoor bike wheels would soon sing with a low hum stirred by the feet of roughly 25 wellness enthusiasts. It was the lunch-hour spin cycle class at our downtown YMCA – and this time I would be coming as teacher rather than a class participant.
By invitation of the 20-year plus veteran spin cycle instructor, I opted to pursue the training process to become a cycling instructor at the gym, and was eager to serve as her class sub. Full of enthusiasm and marked by positivity, this godly instructor played high-energy Christian music, the worshipful tunes of which inspired us all to take spin cycling to the next level. Who wouldn’t be motivated to do their best in this environment? When she was unavailable to teach, another sub filled in. But in her absence, without the worship music and her associated inspiration, it simply wasn’t the same. Now, she had asked me to consider becoming a class instructor to carry on her spinning style while she was away.
Delighted by this opportunity, I embarked upon the prerequisites required for acceptance into this role. As the process unfolded, however, I confronted associated resource expenditures, faced unexpected requirements, and experienced attack by fears and doubts. The fee for the cycling workshop pushed the limits of my budget. And this out-of-town course (which required an hour and a half drive each way) landed on a day when my head throbbed with pain. How could I complete this physically-intense training amidst my own travail? The subsequent trainings following the workshop, including CPR and First Aid classes, commanded additional, associated fees. Then came the administrative details: paperwork, emails, meetings, demos, and planning. I could not have predicted the daunting checklist that loomed behind this seemingly innocuous opportunity to teach an hour-long fitness class. But despite the varied, and sometimes unexpected, investments involved in the process, I felt assured of this route, and continued to see God open doors to establish each step.
The day of the course workshop, for example, my head pain actually improved during the seminar. Additionally, I obtained favor in the sight of those connected with the CPR and First Aid training, resulting in a waiving of the associated training fees! And following the various group training sessions, when I sat down to prepare my first choreographed workout, I experienced provision for this need as well. Though doubts and fears swelled initially, tempting me to withdraw from this particular task, I refused to listen to the wolverine voice. I could – I would – do this by God’s help, and determined to push through the planning process. In doing so, my fears vanished and the choreography materialized.
Over the years, I’ve often recalled the exhortation that “God equips the one He calls.” God’s direction, provision, and confirmation through each of the aforementioned steps involved in the training process was unmistakable. Despite the myriad of tasks which could have proved burdensome, under His light yoke I stepped through each door with amazing ease. God was going with me and blessing my way.
In addition to this particular path of spin training preparation, I’ve lately been pushed outside my comfort zone in a variety of areas. And as I have embarked upon new and unfamiliar paths, I’ve often encountered unexpected challenges along the way. In the process, I’ve considered anew the story of Moses and God’s call on his life, resonating with the doubts of this God-appointed human being. Are you sure, Lord, that You are choosing me? How can I be Your choice when I’m so human, fleshly, and prone to failure and when my resources seem slim? Aren’t you making a mistake? Moses protested against the calling of God, posing the slowness of his speech an obstacle. And I, too, sometimes argue with God, question His choice of me, and am quick to remind Him of my limitations. Yet, the Lord speaks to me the same reply He gave to Moses: “I will be with you.”
And Moses wasn’t the only one who received this promise of support amidst an impossible and perhaps unwanted call. God delivered a similar message to Gideon upon their first recorded encounter in which God deemed Gideon “mighty” and appointed him the chosen leader to deliver Israel from Midian. When Gideon balked at the call, with a response akin to “who me???”, God assured him with the words “Surely I will be with you” (Judges 6:16). Joshua also, a man appointed to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, received this word of hope from God, “…As I was with Moses, so I will be with you” (Joshua 1:5). The stipulations? “Only be strong and very courageous,” God said (Joshua 1:7). Only be strong and courageous.
But these are not just words of promise for those who are now dead, these are living words for us. Because God is with us, we too are free to embark with confidence upon the tasks for which He has called us.
Despite fears, limitations, and all manner of reasons, I could have halted the spin cycle training and preparation process. Nevertheless, I pressed forward, finding the way made ever straight by my God. And when my first day of teaching arrived, the hum of my heart mirrored the hum of the wheels as I facilitated the group with confidence. God called, equipped, and accompanied me from start to finish, and I found myself traveling a new road as I led the class in praise.
But this story of the spin cycling certification process extends beyond the victories related to this one-time, short-term approval process. Rather, it serves as a symbolic picture of many (and often more challenging) processes in which we move toward the fulfillment of God’s calling for us. Whether it’s leading a spin class, mentoring an individual, caring for a child, or starting a business – God may be calling you to step outside your comfort zone. Entering this new arena may be just the opportunity to further fulfill His calling on your life. And while the journey might require more time, energy, investment, and faith than you expected, when He is behind it, He makes a way where there seems to be no way, offering the invaluable gift of His presence to you along the journey.
So the next time you’re tempted to fear or be anxious, question your capabilities and resources, or harp upon your limitations, remember the words of God to Moses, “I will be with you.” When He has called you, His presence will go with you, and you can do great things.
Lisa is a wellness enthusiast whose life has been transformed by the healing power of Christ. Read about her story from chronic illness to abundant health, and find practical wellness insights, at www.livingshalom.com.