Ride the Volcano
Take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:17-18
Years ago, my wife and I visited Hawaii, where we did one of those bike rides down the island’s big volcano. A van picked us up at our hotel and drove us uphill for miles. We got to the top and then we simply coasted downhill for hours. On the way down, I saw actual athletes peddling their bikes uphill. I enjoyed the experience, but I felt lazy, like I was cheating. I enjoyed the fruits of the experience without putting in any of the hard work. I was just a lazy tourist, coasting to the breakfast buffet at the bottom.
There’s a part of me that wants that though. I want to coast through life. When I look at my drug addiction and recovery, at times I get frustrated that I need to keep working on it. I’ve been sober for eight years. I’m never going back, right? Then, I’ll meet someone who relapsed after 15 years of sobriety and I realize that if I stop moving forwards, I could go back. Yes, part of me wants to stop striving, and simply coast through life. There’s another part of me though, that realizes this – If I want to enjoy the new life, I must daily put in the hard work of pursuing it. I don’t find the new life, or remain in it, by doing nothing.
This was Peter’s message in today’s passage. In it, he reminded us that there will be those who fall away from the faith and who try to lead others astray. Peter encouraged us to remain mindful of our own spiritual journeys, daily growing in our faith and our relationship with God. The Christian walk doesn’t end when we come to faith – that’s just the beginning. The Christian life, as Jesus described it, is one of daily self-sacrifice so that we may continually follow him more. We’ll never be perfect in this life, but we are to daily grow, continually becoming something new. There will be hard times and there will be easy times, but the Christian life isn’t meant to be one of continual coasting.
How am I growing today? Am I reading, praying, listening, and obeying? Or am I just coasting through life, never growing in my faith? I don’t want to be the lazy tourist, coasting to the buffet at the bottom. I want to ride my bike up the volcano, living the life I was created for, which means daily putting in the hard work of growth.