Lesson in Humility Through Biking

Today has been the first day of my vacation. I’m slated to go to the BibleTech Conference and speak, but today was just a vacation day – and I’ve really enjoyed it.

The best part of the day has been the weather, as its what I like to call biking and convertible weather. This afternoon I trekked on my bike to some local green ways, and then to a coffee shop that I frequent and it was just chill and fun.

On the way home, I stopped at a second coffee shop to just invest time and get another drink. On my way out, there was another guy who parked his bike beside mine. His bike was loaded with travel items as he was definitely riding somewhere.

He took a liking to my bike, and we struck up a conversation. He said that he biked from the Northeast down to NC (woah!) and was on his way towards the beach (double woah!). I could imagine it, but it was the first time that I can recall meeting someone who literally biked across the country like that.

As we talked, he mentioned how he came to be a biking traveler (drifter was his term) through losing his job and some other breaks. Being able to just take his wheels and go seemed to be a good idea, and he’s pretty much been biking ever since. He mentioned that it was good that I am working and that I should value the job, because things can be taken away at any time.

It didn’t hit me until a few minutes after the conversation ended and I was well on my way. I’ve not been valuing everything that God’s given me and allowed me to walk into.

I’ve got bills paid (mostly), a solid job, a number of solid friends and associates, and am doing speaking engagements. I’m able to take time off to bike and see the city, to engage with others, and really have the depth of my prayers met when I do those things. Not to say that I don’t have issues, but they really are small compared to all those things I’ve been blessed with.

He and I parted and I had a nag inside. There were a few bucks in my pocket and I never carry cash. I turned my bike around and just gave him what I had. It wasn’t much, but I was humbled that he appreciated his situation enough to enjoy it. And while I also could have just as easily sat there the night or did other giftings – it was just that impression to pay for his drink that felt the most appropriate. And so I did.

As I rode off I remarked in prayer that I was sorry for not valuing everything that God’s given. My complaints have sounded prideful and arrogant – and frankly, there’s no reason for them. God has met every need that I have. And those things that I want which I don’t have are because I don’t need those things at this time.

I often feel that biking is a time for me to let off some energy, see the world around me, and reflect on things I need to do next. I can say that in this first day of this vacation, biking definitely led to that reflection and the freedom that I espouse to I already have.

Its a lesson I hope not to forget. And if I see that person on the road, I’ve got a reason again to stop and share a drink while thanking God and him for that lesson so needed this day.

Going Green & Mobile Is Easy… When It Works

Over at the Nokia Conversation’s blog, there’s a new post talking about the use of a mobile device to minimize one’s use of energy resources while staying connected and productive (going mobile to go green). I’ve got an N97 and have many times talked about using it for just that, however, things don’t always work as expected.

For example, I often like to read PDF documents – well, I don’t like to read them, but the content I want to read is formatted with PDF and so it requires a reader. I’ve got Adobe Acrobat Reader, but its not the free one that’s on a laptop, its a paid one which isn’t optimized for my device.

Or, when reading RSS feeds with Google Reader, I like to open a number of pages, and many times will send friends/family a link to something that I’ve read that would be of interest to them. If I’m not careful, just trying to send a link could close the browser or email client. Or worse, just opening a link to a full web page could close the browser (because the page is too large for the available memory on the device).

The more complicated items that I do such as blogging and writing tends to happen in spurts. There are many time where I just pull out the device and compose away. Then others when I’ll want to do something a bit more in-depth and will use the wireless keyboard that I have. And times still where I’d like to go on my reading/writing binges and really cut loose with my mobile, but a lot in the way of the speed and usability of the device, and even the usability of content just gets in the way.

So while its possible go green with mobile, things like this are impediments to staying productive. And while I’m different in the respect that I would rather use a mobile device where there’s a laptop, bigger camera, car radio, or even TV in front of me, I’m not different in the respect that I’d like to get things done as simply as possible.

The problem is that going mobile doesn’t always work. There are compromises which can sometimes be fun in overcoming, and others which aren’t so fun because they aren’t a simple solution, or are a simple solution with ramifications later. I enjoy looking for those solutions, but man, there are moment, like today in trying to find flight information, that I wish things would just work – mobile would win here if it just did.

I hope that future devices and services take these things into account. It doesn’t matter one bit to go green if you need to do double the effort in order to get fewer, or lessened results.