They ride single file, the man in front most of the time. They have worked their way up to riding 26 miles at a time.
One day, the boy says to the man, "Let me lead this time," as they begin another 26 mile ride. The man smiled to himself and said, "Sure, go for it."
Off they go, whizzing around corners, delighting in the speed they can attain in the smooth places and the downhill runs.
After a bit, the boy realizes that it is much harder going uphill than usual. He is struggling much earlier in the ride than he usually does. No matter. He is tough. He will soldier on and surely it will get easier.
Only it doesn't ... after awhile, the boy feels like he can hardly go.
The man notices the boy's struggle but says nothing. After awhile, the boy asks to take a break. They pull over to the roadside and get out their water bottles. The boy looks over at him and blurts out, "Why is it harder this time? I can hardly go. We've rode this way before!"
The man thinks a minute and then asks, "Have you ever heard of drafting?"
Looking puzzled, the boy shook his head no.
"When the leader is riding, he is going straight into the wind. The rider behind gets the benefit of the leader's work because there is a reduction in wind resistance. The draft created by the leader practically draws the rider along. You can see this in the Tour de France races. Usually the winner is the rider who has been in the middle of the pack. He's been drawn along and is fresher towards the end of the race. He can really pour it on at that point and pass the leader, who is tired."
The man goes on, "Remember the times before when I told you to take the lead?"
"Yeah, it didn't seem hard, like today."
"Those were times when I could tell there was no wind resistance, so I knew you could easily lead. Today was your idea to lead. I knew there was wind resistance and you weren't quite ready but I let you lead anyway."
The boy swallowed the last of his water and said, "Let's go. You lead this time."
The man glanced back as they rode along. He could tell the boy was deep in thought.
Finally they reached their goal and after putting up their equipment, the boy said, "You know, I've been thinking about drafting. It's kind of like Paul and Timothy in the Bible."
Grinning, the man asks, "How is that?"
"Well, Paul kind of led the way for Timothy. He made the path easier for Timothy because he'd already went through resistance from unbelievers."
"That's right! He already knew the pitfalls of ministry and could tell Timothy the things to avoid - and when to press on," said the man. "I'm thinking your bible studies are paying off!"
The boy smiled bashfully, "Well, I have a good mentor."
Approximately 20 times in the gospels, Jesus said to "Follow Me." It's great to have a mentor pave the way for you. It's biblical for leaders to mentor others and share what they have learned. However, our ultimate leader is Jesus. Spiritual drafting is following close by your Leader and life will be so much easier. Yes, there will be resistance from the world, but if you don't take the lead from Jesus and follow Him, your burdens will be lighter and the path much easier to travel.
I'm posting the story of The Man and The Boy with the storytellers at #TellHisStory because His story is that He has room for all to follow. You can join in by linking up at JenniferDukesLee.com