January 18 – Integrity
Read: Luke 16:10
I made the choice to commute by bike about three years ago when I started thinking of how much money I could save on gas by riding rather than driving. The act started out as a selfish one: I am poor; this is how I can save money. But it has formed into a way of life, something I believe in deeply and feel called to.
There are some obvious benefits to bike commuting: saving gas money; using less gas, which contributes to our support of middle eastern conflict over oil; getting more exercise and never needing to find a parking spot. Over the years I have found other, more surprising benefits, like setting a slower pace to the day: you naturally give yourself more time and, therefore, schedule less into a day which contributes to a lower stress level. Living a simple life by using a simpler vehicle makes me more self-sufficient. When my car breaks down I am helpless, but when my bike breaks down I can usually figure it out and I am not out hundreds or thousands of dollars.
In a way, my bike has taught me about integrity. It is not always easy to ride in the rain, when driving would be so much warmer and more comfortable. I am not always motivated to give myself an extra half hour to get somewhere when I am anxious to complete a task. The wind is cold against the face and hands in the morning, and sometimes getting on my bike is the last thing I want to do. But each time I ride I think of it as prayer, as self-examination, as testimony, as prophecy, as compassion, as seeking peace in a conflicted world, as loving.
Trying to define how to live an integrity-filled life is near to impossible. For me, integrity looks like riding my bicycle everyday, no matter what; for you, it may look entirely different.
What does integrity look like in my life?
In what ways do I already live with integrity?
How am I being invited to live out my professed beliefs with a deeper level of integrity?