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When I bought my newest bike in December 2014, I effectively started to re-learn cycling. I began with eight-mile rides and expanded from there.

Recently, I’ve noticed my average speed is about 15.5 miles per hour, which is roughly 3 minutes and 45 seconds per mile. Not bad, but not great either.

Try as I might, I haven’t been able to raise my average speed for a few months. Very frustrating. Dissatisfied, I’ve started matching speed with poor unsuspecting cyclists on the bike trail. But, I’m not just doing this with any cyclists. I’m doing this with cyclists that are better and stronger than I am. Why? By attempting to match speed with stronger riders, I can increase my overall pace.

Awhile back, I rode forty-four miles. For the majority of that ride, my average speed was 15.3 mph. As I looked at my mile by mile breakdown, however, I noticed a six-mile segment where my average rate increased to between seventeen and nineteen miles an hour nearly thirty miles in! Usually, my speed would decrease around this time, so I was confused.

As I thought back on my ride, I remembered that four stronger riders passed me. I made it my mission to keep pace with them for as long as I could. These riders caused me to push myself more than I would have otherwise and, at least for a short time, improve. A productive drafting partner is further along in life and stronger in faith than you are.

If you want to plateau, train with a person of equal skill. If you’re going to improve, you must train with a pro. So it is in Christian Discipleship. Do you want to grow in your faith? It is best to align yourself with someone who can speak God’s truth into your life, seasoned by their years of life experience. It is incredible to see how God’s Word speaks to so many situations in ways we may have never considered. Do you want to grow in your knowledge and understanding of God? Seek out those who can guide you according to God’s Word.

“Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:12-14

Follow those who follow Christ. Listen to their words. Heed their warnings and stay grounded in God’s truth. Do not be what the Bible describes as one tossed by the waves (James 1:6).

The importance of biblical drafting is time tested and Bible approved. Through our actions or lack thereof, we often negate its effects. If you are serious about growing in your relationship with Christ, then do it as you were designed to, in community with other believers, following behind those stronger than you and leading those weaker; but I’ll save that for another post.