Feelings are Contagious!

             This past Saturday our group rode up Observatory Hill for what will likely be my last time.  We rarely ride it anyway because it has a ridiculously sharp grade (12-15% grade), but once again it was fantastic!  Whoops and hollers resounded as we ground up the slope.  Shouts of encouragement and grunts of unnatural efforts resounded in the woods around us.  As it leveled off at the top, that crazed energy was quickly replaced by heaves and gasps of recovery.  It was tough and fantastic!  The kind of tough that makes you question your sanity on a little country road in the woods- and the kind of fantastic that reaffirms every pedal stroke you’ve ever taken along the way to the base of that hill!
            These days I am convinced that more often than not it’s the communal nature of the whoops and hollers around you that move you to the top!  They motive, excite and remind you that you are not alone in the journey (or perhaps the suffering!).  More and more on our way in from these longer rides when we hit the last two hills we get to chatting each other right up those hills.  “That a boy!”  “Good job!”  “Keep it up!”  “You go girl!”  The excitement and energy created through our words seems to literally fuel the fibers of our muscles.  No wonder those professionals can sprint upwards of 35-40 miles an hour in the final run up to a big finish!
            How well do you manage your feelings?  They are contagious whether we are aware of them or not.  Did you know that if you put two pendulum clocks in the room together they move toward synchronizing naturally?  It’s called entrainment.  It’s a physics principle that moves two bodies toward resonance so that they are “in phase” together like a marching band.  When you are in the room with someone else your presence affects them, and they, you.  So all the hoots and hollers in the woods help each one of us to get up those climbs because we are all in sync.
            Feelings really are contagious, up or down!  Church is the same.  What if you were really alive all of a sudden in a room full of people who seemed pretty drab and bored?  What if you were really truthful with someone who needed to hear that truth?  What do you think would happen?  What could you imagine coming to be, right there…..and how about fifteen minutes down the road……and even tomorrow?  “Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you have been doing.”  “Speak the truth in love.” The great apostles in their ancient writings to the churches encouraged them, and indeed encourage us- to speak words of hope and words of truth.  They knew that the good news of Jesus emanated in each of us.  So, emanate and others will rise with you!

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One Comment on “Feelings are Contagious!”

  1. nina eads Says:

    Stephen! Things are becoming clearer with your writing! Yesterday in Bible study we talked about accountability partners and how we should have them in all our walks of life. How appropriate for Christians to “Speak the truth in love.” Thanks for sharing your marvelous rides!!!!


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