I headed home, bummed about my missed "cleansing" opportunity.
But God had something else in mind for me; He made this missed opportunity way better! The roads were quiet because it was early, so I figured I could get a good little workout in less than an hour - outside, like old times!
I thought about wearing the helmet or not, and went with it - mainly because people wouldn't be as quick to recognize me with my head covered and I could hammer like a kid.
And, yes, also because since I could hammer like a 10 year old, I didn't have to worry about falling - since I had my head protected.
Note: If I were on my road bike, the helmet would have been a done deal, but since I was just doing sidewalks and local roads on my mountain bike, it was questionable.
I took off and it was awesome! Found a nice big gear, and raced myself.
"Who cares what anyone thinks when you're wearing a helmet?" kept going through my head.
Ephesians 6:17 popped in just after I thought that.
"Accept God's salvation as your helmet"
"It is the hope of eternal life that can protect our mind from relentless assaults upon it by the enemy"
- Aneel Aranha
How cool is that? When we are saved - we are free - free from the enemy's assaults. It doesn't really matter what people think of us - we no longer need to live to please man because of our helmet of salvation! We are protected - as part of the family of God, we don't have to fear the evil one and we can live in the security of The King.
This was also made clear to me from a book I recently read by Kyriacos C. Markides (I don't recommend it). While I disagree with some major theological issues, I enjoyed a story about a pilgrim and a hermit. The pilgrim asked the hermit (he called him Father) how to attain his salvation. The hermit told him to go to a cemetery for a month and hurl insults to the dead - nothing happened. Then he told him to sing praises to the dead for a month - again, nothing happened. The hermit then told him that was his lesson - in order to attain salvation, he must become like the dead - indifferent to insults and indifferent to praise.
While I disagree completely with the way to achieve salvation - because that is thru Christ alone; this is one of the many benefits to salvation. Keeping ourselves somewhat numb to what others think of us; and not letting the enemy get into our heads. And wearing this hope on our heads, in our minds, and at the forefront of why we get up in the morning!