77“Over time we realize we’ve made a lot of messes…faith comes down to forgiveness…all people need second chances. God gives…second chances—more than that, He gives us as many as we take.” Tom Ritchey, Bicycle Designer & Manufacturer
Lack of forgiveness is usually about anger, often justifiable. Holding on to anger doesn’t bring vengeance on another; when you refuse to forgive, you damage yourself. How we respond to difficult experiences directly affects our spiritual and physical well-being. 78Empirical research on the connection between both seeking and granting forgiveness and its relation to mental and physical health is burgeoning. Forgiveness is linked with both the emotional heart and the cardiovascular one: unforgiveness has a physiological impact! Best to be rid of it and release the violator to their own consequences.
To forgive someone else is to be free of the past. Forgiving is not dependent on another; it is a matter of will. This will is the reward of processing emotions and their lessons, coming to a place of compassion for the inflictor even if only one tiny positive can be extracted from the violation.
Reconciliation, however, IS dependent on another’s amendment; but forgiveness is all your work. Since your heart works to hold on to an infraction, energy can be shifted to instead work through it.
Cycling’s present has incredible challenges; devising solutions will bring future contention. We need to forgive to keep the pace-line working steadily. Forgiveness is the first rotation, the second round brings healing, and a third can bring unified movement to this 79billion-rider peloton. Let’s all keep pedaling with powerful hearts.
Prayer for Forgiveness
“Peter…asked, ‘How many times should I forgive someone who does something wrong to me? Is seven times enough?’ Jesus answered: ‘Not just seven times, but seventy times seven times!’”
We are thankful that we can stop further damage of another’s past wrong by cancelling it within us. We confess resentment and holding grudges weaken us and make us captive victims. We ask for power to see how another’s misdeeds lead to something for our good, if only a desire for righteousness and the ability to release forgiveness.
Ponder Am I holding on to anything against anyone? Affirm I can be vibrant in the forgiving life, just as others have forgiven me. Watch the incredible power of a healing forgiveness infuse body, soul and community with new life.
77“Tom Ritchey – Pedaling Home,” by Chris Ahrens © Risen Magazine 2004 – 2007 as posted December 12, 2007 on www.projectrwanda.org
78“Forgiveness and Health: Review and Reflections on a Matter of Faith, Feelings, and Physiology,” Journal article by Charlotte Vanoyen Witvliet; Journal of Psychology and Theology, Vol. 29, 2001 and “Forgiveness: the Power that Heals” By Richard Innes listed as of December 15, 2007 www.actsweb.org
79“The UCI represents the interests of more than 170 National Federations, 5 Continental Confederations, 1200 professional riders, 600,000 licensed riders, millions of cycle sport enthusiasts who train on a regular basis, and more than a billion bicycle users.” stated under FAQ on www.uci.ch as of December, 2007.