Saint Paul's Episcopal Church


Thomas and A Street - Altus, Oklahoma

Priest's Reflections

Dear Friends,
Claude Pepper (1900-1989) was a crusty politician who served both as Senator and U.S. Representative from the state of Florida. One of his most memorable quotes is: “Life is like riding a bicycle. You don’t fall off unless you stop pedaling.” As a man of deep faith he once described his life long journey of faith in a most delightful way. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
“At first I saw God as an observer, like my judge, keeping track of things I did wrong. This way, God would know whether I merited heaven or hell when I died. He was always out there, sort of like the President. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I didn’t really know Him at all.

But later on, when I recognized my higher power better, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride, on a tandem bike, and I noticed God was in the back helping me pedal.

I don’t know when it was that He suggested we change places, but life has not been the same since…life with my higher power, that is, making life much more exciting.

When I had control, I knew the way. It was rather boring but predictable. It was always the shortest distance between two points.
But when He took the lead, He knew delightful shortcuts, up mountains, and through rocky places and at breakneck speeds; it was all I could do to hang on! Even though it looked like madness, He kept saying, “Pedal, pedal!”

I worried and became anxious, asking, “Where are you taking me?” He just laughed and didn’t answer, and I found myself starting to trust. I soon forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure, and when I’d say, “I’m scared.” He’d lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed; gifts of healing, acceptance and joy. They gave me their gifts to take on my journey. Our journey, that is, God’s and mine.

And we were off again. He said, “Give the gifts away, they’re extra baggage, too much weight.” So I did, to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received, and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him at first, in control of my life. I thought He’d wreck it. But He knew bike secrets, knew how to make it bend to take sharp corners, jump to clear places filled with rocks, fly to shorten scary passages.

And I’m learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I’m beginning to enjoy the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, my higher power.

And when I ‘m sure I can’t go on anymore, He just smiles and says, “Pedal…””

Blessings always,