Posted by: Rowland | November 24, 2008

Something else about cycling

A few years ago I read one of David Adam’s books about Aidan – ‘Flame in my heart – St Aidan for today which has been an inspiration for me. At some stage the story is told of Oswin, the King of Northumbria, giving Aidan a fine horse to assist him in his travelling role. Aidan’s previous principled stand was to say to monks departing on horseback, “Get your feet on the ground as soon as possible; it is not good for you to be above the people that you meet. Remember that you are here to serve them and not to lord it over them.” The quality of this horse and its trappings brought new ease of travel but the unwelcome responsibility of wealth and status which threatened his closeness to the ordinary people. It wasn’t long before horse and trappings were all given away.

Back in 1994 on a visit, before coming to live in this island, a man made this prophetic comment to me, “Forget what you know about pulpit ministry; get down among the people; they need to feel your touch…” It’s rare for me to speak from a pulpit these days. And outside of church circles riding a bike brings me back into contact with ordinary folk, out of the air-conditioned cocoon of the car, and now more accessible – able to respond to the shouts of greeting, to stop and talk to the guys at the rum shop…

But just now I hope I don’t have to give even the bike away!!!

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