Alan Delery, “Try Changing Your Mode: Part II” everystreetnola.wordpress.com, January 16, 2013, accessed September 9, 2020
Not too long ago I decided to ride my bicycle from my house to my mother’s. It’s only about 10 miles but the route is what makes it interesting. The city of New Orleans is divided by the Mississippi River. In order to ride to my mom, I must take a ferry. Once I cross over, there are multiple routes I can take. Depending on your knowledge of New Orleans, my landmarks might not have much meaning to you. If not, imagine the landmarks that you might pass through if you go across town, in your city.
I go through my neighborhood, pass O.P. Walker High School (old location on General Meyer) and head toward Old Algiers where the Algiers Ferry is. I ride the ferry that was blown up in the movie Deja Vu with Denzel Washington. I cross over the Mississippi River and arrive at Canal Street and ride through the French Quarters. I pass through the Treme’ into what is known as the 7th Ward. I ride the outskirts of Dillard University, past the Duck Pond where the Indian Head used to be. I make it to Boscoville, where I grew up, then make my final stretch up where the Smokey Mary Railroad used to transport people to Lake Pontchtrain in the 1800’s. (My parents moved to this house near the Lake after their house was flooded by Katrina.)
Had it not been for my bike ride, I might not have appreciated every area I just mentioned. While each spot has historical significance there are people who still call it “home”. By changing my mode of transportation, I was able to slow down and experience people. I stopped and talked to strangers. My perspective of the city changed as I slowed down and prayed for the neighborhoods and the people I came into contact with.
Try it. Pick a different mode of transportation to travel through your city and ask God to give you fresh insight on the needs of the people that live within 5-10 miles of where you live. It might be refreshing if we occasionally “get out of the box” called the car, and see what happens.