When we hear the word devotion, several pictures swirl in our minds to create our understanding of the word. A thesaurus will bring forth several synonyms for the word that begins to give this collection of letters a religious feeling or meaning. Words such as piety, religious fervor, consecration among others can be used in place of devotion in the correct context.
I had the great privilege of participating in an annual bicycle ride to Washington DC, paying tribute to Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty in the past year. This ride is an annual event, but this was only my second year as a determined bike rider. The 120 mile ride begins at the capitol in Richmond, VA, and ends in Washington, DC. The ride takes place on Thursday May 16, 2010 in recognition of National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial week. We complete the ride in one day, pushing ourselves to our personal limits of physical abilities in order to demonstrate our dedication, our devotion to this very worthy cause. We all climb off our bikes that evening, vowing never to pedal another mile again for a long time. We have just pedaled 120 miles when there are people who hate to drive that far in a car. We have just pushed ourselves to the limit in order to pay tribute to our fallen comrades, all in the name of our departments and our respected occupation.
Having said that, how many of us feel that dedicated, that devoted to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the man who died for our sins, gave His life so that we could live. I was thinking about this as we pedaled the miles, working towards a very obvious goal of reaching Washington. With God, the goals are not so clear. We are left to discern what God wants from each of us, then to carry it out. We are left to get on the bike, then to figure out in what direction we should pedal. We are required to do all of the same preparation, the same practice rides, the same methods of preparation for God’s ride through life. It seems as though some will skip the preparation and head straight for the ride, not knowing how difficult or how long the ride will be. They may not even know the ultimate destination, but want to participate regardless of their lack of knowledge. As Christians, we know that we have a map book, a holy Garmin, a mapquest program beyond all programs. We have God’s Holy Word. We know when we lose our way, when we have trouble figuring out just where we are or where we are supposed to be, we can open the Bible. It’s amazing to find the wisdom and awesome insight included in the pages of the Bible. A book written so long ago still applies to our lives today. A book written by so many different people with so many diverse backgrounds can only have one source, the Holy Spirit. This is why the Bible is so consistent despite the different authors and the span of time used to create it. Devotion is our way of expressing our fervor, our zeal for God’s Word, giving us direction regardless of the circumstance, regardless of the distance, regardless of the ultimate destination. We are devoted to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for His wonderful and amazing gift to us. We are loyal to God’s instructions and directions even though we can’t see the end of the journey. Despite all of what this world says about our God, we know that we have a friend in Jesus Christ who will protect us, guide us, and lead us to our final destination. All we have to do is keep pedaling.