I was hanging out in a bookstore this morning. I gotÂ a Robert Ludlum spy book that I haven’t read before. I like reading spy books from time to time, because it’s kind of interesting when you get engrossed in this and you become really curious as to what is going to happen. It’s like you are sitting there, reading this, and you’re not exactly sure what is going to come next. One of the things I don’t really like about Ludlum books is, for me at least, they seem to take a while to get going. And the funny thing is, that even though I’ve read many of them, and should know by now what to expect, I have the same experience over and over. It’s like as soon as I start reading, I seem to forget what is happening. Usually the first hundred pages or so are the hardest. I usually have the same thoughts as I almost have to force myself to continue reading.Â I sometimes wonder what I’m doing, maybe I could be doing something better.
One of my friends that I used to go bike riding with used to have the same experience. We used to go riding up these really long and windy hills where I used to live. The kind of hills where when you look up, you think you can see the top, but you’re not sure. Then when you get to where you think the top is, you go around the bend just a little bit and BAM there is another hill waiting for you. Unless you’ve ridden those course several times, it’s really easy to forget where you are and hope that you have enough energy to keep on going, hoping you won’t pass out before you get to the top.
Which is cool because on top is this really big park, next to one of these new age churches. And there is this pastor at the church who sometimes sits in the park when he is not busy counseling people. The park has a fantastic view of the city. It’s amazing what you can see from a different perspective. Sometimes this pastor talks to us and tells us these crazy stories. Once he gave usÂ a lecture about the meaning of life. He said when you are a child, and think in childish ways, you expect other people to give you things, to provide for you. He said that the true measure of an adult is someone who has decided to make the transition from being a receiver from others to become a giver to others. He said the middle part is what is difficult for most people, because it can sometimes take a few years to get through, if at all. Many people get stuck in the middle part, and never get out. It’s so confusing because you are a grown adult with a job and maybe a family, but you still have a little bit of “what’s in it for me” kind of mentality. He said the amazing thing about life is that when you fully release dependency, you will become aware of the abundance of resources that you can gather with your the energy you’ve freed up by becoming fully human. He said that is what St. Paul was talking about when he said that stuff about putting away childish things, and how love is really a verb rather than a feeling. The guy also had some other stories which I hope I can remember this later.
But the other good thing aboutÂ this hill is on the other side, is a fantastic, long road that looks as though it was built for cyclists. Even though this park is about twenty miles from the nearest body of water, you can see the ocean. And the road kind of curves to the left as it goes down, and there are no intersections for about two miles. So all you have to do is wait at the top until all the cars go by, and you can pretty much ride down the middle of the big, wide road without worrying about cars. And the bottom is long and flat, so you have plenty of time to slow down. The fastest I ever went down that hill was just a fraction over fifty MPH. That was an incredibly exhilarating experience that I’ll always remember.
The funny thing is, once I get past the one hundred page mark, I usually can’t put a Ludlum book down to save my life. All the characters and the story just springs to life. It’s really weird that way.Â All those feelings of doubt and worry that I had before about wasting my time or whatever just seem to mysteriously vanish. Which is one of the reasons I love to read. Reading gives you a great perspective on things.