Today, I met my goal of 1,200 miles on the bike before the first snow. It was a 13-mile ride that put me over the top. I had to wait out the rain and the thunder but the air was still warm and the wind was favorable for an out and back route. As I rolled by the mostly harvested fields I thought of all the prayers I have prayed from the seat of my bike, all the ideas that have been hatched from that seat, all the confessions I have made to God, and all the things I have learned and am still learning because of undistracted time on the bike.
It may have been one of my last rides in the state of Illinois. Next week we will be packing a truck for our move to South Carolina. So it is a good time reflect on the lessons learned from all my time in the saddle.
- Setting goals can be helpful. There were days when the last thing I wanted to do was get on the bike but the goal drove me forward. What are the things that you know you need to make progress on and need the motivation of a goal to work toward?
- Reaching goals is hard. Fighting a 15-20 mph wind is not easy on a bike. Riding in 90+ degrees is not pleasant. Riding in the cold is a drag. Crashing and breaking your phone when you are 12 miles into a ride and 13 miles from home is the kind of excitement you don’t want. It takes real effort. And so does plowing the ground of your soul to extinguish everything that entangles your heart and keeps you from growing in Christ. But it is worth it. Jesus is worth it.
- Concentration, when you are in pain is difficult. After my crash, my hip was severely bruised. But there wasn’t any choice. My phone was broke and I was 13 miles from home. Suck it up and gut it out. But it was much harder to concentrate on praying or even thinking. It took everything to just keep pedaling. People in pain sometimes forget basic truths and simple logic. Have compassion for them and just be there with them in their pain.
- I will miss this flat land and its people. I sometimes complain about how flat it is here and these last 5 years have been painful in many ways. It certainly hasn’t been a cake-walk. But I love the people and the area. Today I road out to the road of one of our former elders at Trinity Church. I thought of all the prayers I prayed for his family, his children, his leadership. I thought of all the prayers prayed and conversations had with so many of the people whose homes I have pedaled by over the years. But I will miss these flat lands and its people. Be well Trinity Church family. Go hard after Jesus. Let Him make you into what He wants you to be.
- There’s so much more to say but my 500 words are gone and the CUBS just won the World Series. I’m going to watch their celebration and then get some sleep.