The Parable of the Naked Cyclist

16 11 2006

I don’t think anyone will complain about there being no pictures with this post…

And the teacher told them this story: “One day a man was visited by his neighbor who had come to see if he could borrow the man’s bicycle. The neighbor had an important purchase to make in the market of a larger village that was some miles away and was hoping to cut the time of the trip from 3 hours to 1 hour.

“After greeting the man, the neighbor said to him, ‘Friend, I would like to ask to borrow your bicycle. I have an important errand to run in town and would like to get back before dark. May I use your bike?’

“The man was more than willing to lend his bicycle to his neighbor, but he couldn’t help but notice that his visitor had absolutely no clothing on. So he said to the neighbor, ‘Of course you can borrow my bicycle. But, tell me, you do plan to put some clothes on before you head to the market, don’t you?’

“The neighbor shook his head and replied, ‘Well, I don’t have any clothes to put on. I’m going to market just as you see me.’”

Then the teacher asked them, “What would you do if you were this man? Would you lend your neighbor your bicycle and let him go his way, naked?”

“No,” many of them replied. “We would give him some clothes first.”

“But he did not ask for clothes, he asked to borrow the bike,” said the teacher. “Why would you give him clothes instead?”

And they answered, “We would give him the clothes because the clothes are more important.”

Then the teacher asked them another question, “Is this neighbor wise or foolish?”

“He is foolish,” they replied, almost in unison.

“You are correct,” the teacher said. “He is foolish because did not ask for what he needed the most and instead set out to something that would bring shame to himself, his family and his village.”

“But, you see,” the teacher continued. “This is exactly what most of us do when we come to before God to ask Him for help. We stand there and ask Him for all kinds of things which are good and legitimate needs (like the bicycle), but they are not what we are most desperately in need of!

“We ask God to heal the sick. We ask Him to help us evangelize our friends and family. We ask Him spread His Kingdom throughout the world. We ask Him to help us start up new ministries which will bless the poor. We even ask Him to make us better people.

“But if we seek to do these things without that which is most important, we are like the man who planned to ride his bicycle to the market, naked.”

“What we really should be asking for, what we really need more than anything, what we need to have before we can think about doing anything else is this…

“a living, intimate knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ.”

And this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent – John 17:3

Lord, help us to truly know you before all other things.. Amen.




2 responses

18 11 2006
Jeff from Davenport

Great parable.

18 11 2006

Jeff — I saw your comment on the last post and meant to say this…Great to hear from you. Where are you and what are you up to?

Send me an email at

Thanks for tracking me down.

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