Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Silver Rag

The Silver Rag begins with a commitment to the Christian way of life. For many, this Rag presents a struggle. What does this mean? Do I have to read the Bible in full? Am I not already a Christian? What do I do? I know this Rag presented me with most of these when I tied my Silver Rag in 1996.

As I have grown in the YMCA, I realize that the "Christian way of life" is a broad term defined differently by many people. I feel that is living with courage and character, doing your best at all times and seeking to help others is being a good Christian. That is why I love the YMCA core values of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and faith. If I work to live a life full of the values, than I am living a "Christian way of life".

When I attend Silver Rag ceremonies, I like to read the following poem, "A Tandem Ride With God." It helps me visualize God, Jesus and me; how we can work together and how I need to trust Him.

I used to think of God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there, sort of like a president. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I didn't really know Him.

But later on, when I met Jesus, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Jesus was in the back helping me pedal. I didn't know just when it was He suggested we change, but life has not been the same since I took the back-seat to Jesus, my Lord. He makes life exciting. When I had control, I thought I knew the way. It was rather boring, but predictable. It was the shortest distance between two points.

But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places and at break-through speeds; it was all I could do to hang on! Even though it often looked like madness, He said, "Pedal!" I was worried and anxious and asked, "Where are you taking me?" He laughed and didn't answer and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into adventure. And when I'd say, "I'm scared", He'd lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed, gifts of healing, acceptance and joy. They gave me their gifts to take on my journey, our journey, my Lord's and mine. And we were off again. He said, "Give the gifts away; they're extra baggage, too much weight." So I did, to the people we met, and I found in giving I received, and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him, at first, in control of my life. I thought He'd wreck it, but He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, jump to clear high rocks, fly to shorten scary passages. And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I'm beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus.

And when I'm sure I just can't do any more, He just smiles and says... "Pedal."

(Author unknown)

For me, this allowed me to explore my fears of being Christian and the thought that I would somehow be judged "not enough." I wouldn't know the Bible well enough, I wouldn't go to church enough, I wouldn't be able to speak about God/Jesus smart enough, etc, etc, etc. As I have learned, being a Christian is so much more than all those things. It is trusting in oneself, listening to your heart, taking time to be quiet and listen to God, and to see the beauty He gives us each day. I still have my days and moments when I feel not enough, but I just have to push those aside and "Pedal."

So I challenge you to take some time this Holiday season to still your mind and allow your soul to listen to the voices around you, with in you. When you don't think you can, just shush up and pedal. Let Him do the rest, because he "knows bike secrets".

Remember-Youth Empowerment Retreat is coming up FRIDAY, December 10, 2010! Sign up today and take this time to renew your Rag goals at camp. It is not too late to sign up for the retreat - call us! 800-765-9622

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In the Spirit of Camp

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