I love how many times we’ve heard that question since we finished the FREEDOM Tour. People care. They’re part of the circle. They like what this crazy project represents.
I wish we had a simple answer, but there’s nothing simple about taking an old bald guy in a wheelchair on the road.
If you’ve been here a while you know this whole thing began as a one-time bucket list idea to ride 1500 miles along the Mississippi River. When we reached New Orleans we thought we were done.
However, Becky and I experienced a sense that God had a bigger idea. We recognized that RICH’S RIDE wasn’t about Rich and it wasn’t about a ride. The handcycle and the dog and the story attracted attention. We discovered we could leverage that attention to create a platform from which we might work toward a bigger mission:
- Demonstrate that it’s possible to overcome adversity and accomplish big dreams.
- Speak to a variety of audiences with a message of hope, possibility, and God’s faithfulness.
- Raise funds and awareness for worthy humanitarian causes.
We just completed our fourth ride (the story’s here) and it’s been a blast. We’ve been blessed beyond imagination by incredible stories, amazing supporters, and generous sponsors. We’ve definitely experienced Luke 6:38:
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
However…and it seems there’s always a however…we’re having to ask some hard questions about the question of sustainability. You can do almost anything for a short time through sheer determination and willpower, but it’s difficult to turn “gut it out” into a sustainable lifestyle.
We’re looking at the blue circle. It’s a lesson for all of us. If you’re passionate about service, you need the capacity to do what’s required.
RICH’S RIDE has largely been a three “person” effort: Becky, Monte, and me. From a distance, long distance handcycling looks like the hard part, but it’s not. And we’ve discovered that “Becky and Rich on the road doing everything” isn’t a sustainable model.
So before we can answer When’s your next trip? we need to develop more capacity.
I share this for two reasons. First, it’s not a unique struggle. Too many people surrender worthwhile dreams, or pursue them in misery, because they ignore the blue circle.
I also know you care. I know you’ll pray for us. And building capacity doesn’t only mean Becky and I working harder or getting better. It also means involving other people and leveraging their gifts.
Maybe that’s you?
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