Keep On Pedalling

November 14, 2019
by Joel Jongkind

In 1973, there was a perceived crisis: a shortage of crude oil. We were told to conserve fuel, to drive less, and to share rides. In the Netherlands, where we were living at the time, we were given gasoline coupons, which enabled us to buy a certain number of litres of gasoline each week. There were also "carless Sundays", when only the police, ambulances, and fire trucks were allowed to use the roads. It was wonderful! There were no cars anywhere, the roads were clear of traffic, people were roller skating, and kids were playing games on the highways.

From the place where we lived, it was about eleven kilometres to the American Protestant Church which we attended in the Hague, and on Sunday mornings, we all went on our bikes, the five of us. There were a lot of people in church on those Sundays, more than usual. Those who attended on occasion had no place to go and nothing else to do. One Sunday, our young daughter, who was nine at the time, after having biked some distance, started to complain, but I told her — in retrospect, not very compassionately — to quit complaining and to keep on pedalling. After the service, the minister asked me how we made out getting to church, and I mentioned my statement to our girl.

Our church was struggling at that time, not from a lack of attendance — a lot of expatriates needed the fellowship of kindred people — but after they got settled, they would go sightseeing and have other things to do on a Sunday. Consequently, there was a lack of funds. There was also the problem that there were many people from different countries and different denominations who were used to different styles of worship. It was really hard to satisfy them all, and it was a problem for the minister and for us elders as well. We discussed it at length.

Obviously, the minister thought about what I had said, because the following Sunday his sermon title was, "Keep on pedalling". He recapped the situation that we found ourselves in, and he applied some appropriate Scripture passages.

At the present time, there are a lot of our churches struggling. Most of us can relate to it on a weekly basis. Many articles are written about it, and many prayers are offered to the Lord, sincerely hoping that a change will come about. Ministers, elders, and members alike are concerned about it. Personally, I seem to dwell on this problem quite often, and while I was thinking about it, a Scripture passage came to mind:

Psalm 118:24 – This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (NKJV)

Let us all rejoice in our church and in our faith in Christ as Saviour and Lord, and let us keep on pedalling, one day at a time!

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are indeed times when we are really concerned about the problems which face the Christian church in so many places. We ask for Your blessing upon our efforts, in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Joel.


    May it be so, Joel.


    Great story, Joel. Thanks, and God bless!


    Thanks Joel. An appropriate message for many churches.


    Thanks, Joel, for sharing this experience in a devotional with us. I know that I needed the reminder. Blessings.


    Thank you for your devotional, and your mention of Psalm 118:24 which is still used every Sunday on Hour of Power TV and has been broadcast for over 45 years.


    Greeting Joel: At my advanced age (mid 80’s) I can relate to the challenges in life. Thank you for sharing “Keep On Pedalling”. It is often easier to give up, throw in the towel so to speak, then to keep pedalling. Yet if we keep pedalling we will, in the long run, win the race God has set before us, in the day when we see all his promises fulfilled for the faithful.


    Hello Joel,
    Thank you for another great devotional. Perfect title! Something we must keep doing as you say, “one day at a time”. It certainly would be wonderful to see more people seeking the way of the Lord and attending church these days.
    Blessings to you for your thoughtful writings.
    (B.C.)


    Hi Joel,
    What an interesting experience you had pedaling to church during the perceived oil crisis int he Netherlands! This is a good encouragement for me to keep pedaling, while l pray for our church to be hands-on about looking after those of our congregation who suffer from mental illness.
    Blessings.


    A number of years ago I hiked the west coast trail with my adult son. I whined one day as the sand walking that particular day was difficult. Scott patiently said left foot right foot left foot right foot. One step at a time. At one point I looked back and there were footprints. I had actually walked but the memory was of Scott’s voice. Keep pedalling. Thank you for an encouraging message.


    What a joyous devotional, Joel! I wondered when I read the title if you were referring to this actual 12 step slogan: “Recovery is a two-seater bike – I don’t get to steer and I have to keep on peddling.” I have used this in many meetings throughout the years and with many individuals. It seems to answer their initial inquiry as to how recovery works in a gentle, understandable way.
    And then you write about it this morning! Oh Yay, how the Spirit works!
    These words spoke to me at first because we didn’t have a car but we did have a baby and a distance to travel daily. We were able to get a two-seater bike and rigged up a seat for the baby. Our only problem was him getting bored, taking off a shoe or boot and dropping it somewhere in the two-mile daily ride.
    Many blessings on your life and work (which are surely evident to me!)

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