Bad Internet Connection
Updated: Mar 11, 2019
Life can be like a bad internet connection. That's what I realized this morning as I attempted a live Peloton class.
First, if you aren't familiar with Peloton, it is an indoor bike. We pay for a monthly subscription that allows us to take live cycling classes with an instructor and other cyclists in the New York studio or on-demand classes that have already taken place.
An internet connection is necessary to stream the classes.
A good internet connection is necessary to enjoy the classes without the frustration of loading, pausing, lagging, fast-forwarding, reversing, or dumping the class altogether.
We have had a bad internet connection for months. Last week my irritation escalated to anger. I tried to talk myself out of it and say that in the whole scheme of things - the big picture of life - a bad internet connection is not the end of the world. It shouldn't even be on my list of life challenges, but I was allowing it to be.
Today God gave me a different perspective, and I was able to laugh about it.
Let's see if I can paint you a picture of my cycling experience this morning. It was an intervals and arms ride which means there would be hard pushes with some recovery time and the use of hand weights for upper body strength and toning. My pushes were heavy resistance in the pedals while trying to increase cadence, or the speed of my pedaling. The instructor would announce the challenge as a sixty second push. I would start pushing hard. She would get close to a countdown. Fifteen more seconds. Ten...eight...five...and then the internet would have a blip. Without notice, I was back to a thirty second countdown.
It never failed that the hard stuff, whether cycling or using the weights, lasted much longer than planned or anticipated.
After thirty (or more) extra seconds of hard pushing, I looked forward to the thirty second recovery the instructor promised. But...no! This time the internet blip would shoot ahead and my thirty second recovery dwindled to ten seconds. And then I was back in an extended time of hard pushing.
These internet issues also affected my ability to receive any modifications to the instructions. Maybe the instructor said we could lighten the road, but I missed it. I'm still grunting under a super hard road while others are sailing along with a smile of relief on their faces.
As soon as I would get into the groove and flow of a song...it skipped ahead to a new song. I looked around and the entire class is out of the saddle climbing a hill while I'm still sitting in my seat.
That's when I thought about life.
Have you had those times where you can't seem to catch a break? You think to yourself, "After this hard season surely I will have some time to catch my breath." But...no! Your recovery time is cut in half or eliminated all together. You don't have time to take a deep breath or get a sip of water before the next hard push comes. Suddenly you're on a heavy, steep hill and you don't feel anywhere near ready.
Or maybe you feel like God must have spoken, but somehow you missed the change in instructions. You're bouncing along to your favorite jam. Then you realize the song has changed. You look around and everyone else seems to have gotten the memo because they're all in sync...but you're on a completely different beat.
I often get frustrated when life feels this way. I'm quick to get angry about the disruptions.
I like when life is smooth. When things are going my way. I like when I receive all the instructions and know I'm right where I need to be. I like to catch my breath in between the hard stuff.
But that's not always the way life goes. That is not always God's plan for my life and sanctification.
It's really nice when the biggest obstacle I face for the day is trying to resolve internet issues. That's my recovery time, I guess. My moment to catch my breath.
I don't know what you may be dealing with today - possibly something much more difficult than a bad internet connection.
I don't want you to hear me making light of heavy, life-changing, earth-shaking issues.
I've been there also.
You won't hear me quote a misconstrued version of 1 Corinthians 10:13 and tell you God will not give you more than you can handle. That is not what that verse tells us. Truthfully? Everything...EVERYTHING...is more than we can handle without God.
With God...I can find laughter in the midst of a trial.
Without God...I only find the frustration and anger.
I guess what I'm hoping for myself...and for you...is that when life gets rough we will stick with God and find the laughter, like I did today with the internet, rather than stick it out on our own and get frustrated and angry, like I did last week with the internet.
We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13, emphasis mine).
I will lift my Happy Camper mug to that!