You can read the story of The First Ride, but it’s fair to say that two blocks in thirty minutes wasn’t exactly a rousing success. (Amazing how primitive that bike looks now.)
I’d just spent more than ten years whining and giving up. But when I completed that initial journey, I couldn’t wait to try it again. I kept going, blocks and then miles, until I’d cranked 1000 miles during the summer of 1999.
This is clearly a pivotal point in the story, and whenever I talk about it I find it difficult to explain.
Friends were a big part of it, the guys who coerced me onto the bike in the first place and then showed up to ride with me when it wasn’t all that much fun. (This is my buddy Tom, who’s been my chief cycle mechanic since I started riding.) I believe God sent people into my life at strategic points to encourage and keep me going when I might otherwise have quit.
Writing entered my life through an unlikely door. A counselor encouraged me to write a journal, and I discovered enjoyment and release. The journal eventually became a story that I published as RELENTLESS GRACE.
Jesus introduced Himself to me again and wondered if I wanted if I wanted to know Him as a person rather than a collection of ideas. I confronted the reality that I’d been a “head Christian” and He wanted me to move my belief to my heart.
Hope became a reality. I began to see possibilities for a future beyond self-pity, pain, and self-imposed limits.
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All of that’s true, but somehow it’s not the answer to What changed?
I personally believe it’s about the handcycle. I believe it was a gift from God.
Of course it wasn’t really the handcycle, but what it represented. It was freedom and movement, relationships and goals. It was hope and courage and the beginning of a dream I couldn’t imagine.
It was God touching me in just the right way at just the right time, using something ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary.
How do you explain that?
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