Reflections of a cyclist [Part 3]

Last week I finally achieved a goal I have been working towards for over a year. I have a favourite training ride. From our home in Christchurch’s eastern suburbs I cycle up the hill at the end of Colombo Street to the Sign of the Kiwi, and then travel along the summit road, before descending into Sumner and returning home. It is exactly 50 kilometres. I enjoy it because of the amazing scenery. I have marvelled at the view from the memorial stone seats. I enjoy it because of the challenge of climbing the hills. And I have been trying to complete the journey in less than two hours. Bit by bit I had whittled my time down, but it seemed that I had hit a limit at 2 hours 5 minutes. I got that close and then my times were getting worse rather than better.


In Saturday’s Press Reg Garters, an Anglican Lay Reader and Executive Office of the NZ Institute of Managers has a regular column. He shared a similar struggle he had in trying to break a time barrier on his regular run. A friend advised that for a time he should forget about meeting his goal, and run completely different routes. He did so, and shortly afterwards achieved his goal.


In the same way I achieved my goal too. To tell you truth I would have been really disappointed if after all the kilometres I had cycled in Canada, I had not made my goal. But it was as much due to the fact that I have lost weight, as having stronger legs.


The challenge is to remember this when as a church we are working or striving to make changes and meet goals. The tendency is to keep on going, to try harder, when what maybe required is a different approach. An opportunity to gain a complementary fitness.


When we are faced with an ‘insurmountable’ problem e.g. Insufficient leaders for our committees or Parish Council, is the way forward to experiment with new ways of sharing decision making and leadership, rather than trying to pressure people to fill all the old slots.


I just hope I can continue to remember, the value of asking new questions and taking a new approach.


Children’s Time:

A cycle wheel, with the spokes radiating out from the centre makes an excellent illustration of the Church. Centred on Christ, we move outward into the world, where because we are working together we can move forward.


If you can find a wheel with a broken spoke, or perhaps poorly adjusted spokes, then a further illustration of the value of each person can be seen. Just one broken spoke and the wheel will wobble to the extent that it may be impossible and certainly unsafe to ride on. Poorly adjusted spokes can have the same effect. It makes for an unsteady ride.


You might explore what it means being ‘like a loose or broken spoke’. Someone might be unable through illness to contribute. Or some people might stop learning and growing or …


For a cyclist far from home, the important thing is that by readjusting the other spokes it is possible to compensate for a broken spoke. Just like we do if someone is sick. But it only works as each spoke does its bit. So we all belong to the body and are important members of it.



Newsletter Ideas:

Each week I write a short reflection, ‘From David’s Desk’ which is a chance to reflect on important matters happening in the church, the community or my own life. I am sure many of you do the same. It is a very valuable means of communication. Most people will read it while they are at church, and it is often shared with those unable to be at worship. We post copies to some of our shut ins.


It is not all serious stuff however. I may have a short quotation for reflection, but I always finish with GROAN ZONE. Two or three puns or some other ‘groaner’. I hope to convey the idea, that our laughter is also worship. To my surprise I have no trouble finding something each week. Most resources coming from the internet. The following will subscribe you to an occasional e-mail full of puns.


For puns subscribe to THE PUN LINE. Send a blank e-mail to:

Here is a start with this weeks puns:

* The lazy christian was accused of having idol thoughts.
* The liturgy seemed all rite to me.
* The compulsive Bible-burner had a Luke-warm disposition.
* It is written that Jesus Christ had a stable home life.
”From Ralph Milton's RUMORS, a free Internet ‘e-zine’ for active Christians with a sense of humour. To subscribe, send an e-mail to: . Don't put anything else in that e-mail.”


e-fish is a co-operative effort. I’d be keen to speak with any of you who may be able to do a week or a month during 2004. If you are going to be at Methodist Conference how about catching up with me there. Or just send an email to


Till next week



David Bush