Pacelines and Healing

OK—so you might be having two questions about the title right off the bat!  What the heck is a “paceline” and what does it have to do with healing?  I’ll be happy to explain!

Have you ever seen a group of bicyclists zipping down the road single file—each cyclist about a foot or so behind the other?  That’s a paceline.  And what it does is conserve energy for the riders—in fact up to 30%.  It works like this: each rider takes a turn at the front of the line literally helping to pull the others down the road.  And the effort for each successive rider in the paceline commensurately decreases till the final rider may actually be expending very little energy.

This concept of “drafting” enables the entire group to go further and faster compared to an individual rider.  But to be really effective, you need to recognize that the closer you get to the rider in front of you, the greater the benefits you and the entire group receive.  To do so confidently, however, involves trust—trusting the skills of those that you’re riding with as well as your own.

Alright, that’s how a paceline works, but before I answer the part about its relation to healing, I’m going to digress a bit.  Trust me, though, it will become clear!

Last Saturday a group of friends and I did a 72-mile roundtrip ride up to Newburyport, Massachusetts.  It was a beautiful day—nice temperature, low humidity, and very little wind.  Idyllic!

At any rate, one of my fellow cyclists was someone that I ride with perhaps 2 or 3 times a year.  She had gained considerable strength on her bike since last year—a good thing to be sure!

But there was a problem.  Whenever the rest of us would get into a paceline, she would inevitably charge ahead, or veer out to the right or left side without warning.  This is not only dangerous but it also effectively defeats the purpose of the paceline.

And it defeated her because she didn’t get the benefits of riding in the line.  The result?  She was exhausted after about 40 miles and finally had to drop off the back for the last 10 miles.

Now back to the second question.  That rider’s actions were very much like any of us who decide we’re going to go it alone rather than rely on God—rather than follow close to Him and receive the blessings that inevitably come from doing so.  And those blessings, of course, include healing of any of the problems that humanity faces—disease, poverty, relationship issues, emotional and mental concerns, lack of achievement, and on and on.

I’ve seen time and again that by aligning my thinking to what I know to be true about the all-goodness of God and His creation—including each of us—and to listen to and obey what He’s telling me, in other words, to get closer to God and trust Him more completely, I’m able to go further and with greater ease in every aspect of my life.  But of greater import, it allows me to be a more effective healer.

The Apostle James summed it up best in his epistle (James 4:8):

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.

Hmm—pacellining with God?  Maybe that’s something worth thinking about!

8 thoughts on “Pacelines and Healing

  1. Wonderful modern day parable to keep us on “line” Just like the story of the Geese! Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  2. I thought you were going to make a metaphor for the benefits of church membership! But I like this analogy. Maybe when we feel any sense of ‘drag’ it means we need to draw a little closer to God – align our thought with Truth.

  3. I drove a vespa scooter from cape cod to milwaukee as the large trucks passed i would turn behind them and draft.I had to reassure myself that these drivers were professional and they would not stop abruptly it was very nerve racking.I would turn off after a while just to calm down. Following god’s right idea is not stressfull at all liked your story
    thanks fred hggins


    • Hi Fred,

      Thanks for your story! Wow, that’s quite a drafting experience! And I fully understand how that can be a bit unnerving! 🙂 Thanks also for your comment about following God’s plan–certainly true!

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