Dick Foth offered maybe the best guidance I ever received. I was preparing in 2011 for my 1500-mile handcycle ride along the Mississippi River when Dick advised me to share the story of following this crazy God-sized dream.
Honestly, I thought telling my story was bragging. Dick helped me understand that stories have power, that by sharing our stories we actually empower others to discover and tell their stories.
I thought about Dick’s wisdom last week as I watched Godspeed:The Race Across America and considered why Brad Cooper and Jerry Schemmel planned a movie around their race. For them, this project was about something bigger than a bike race. They told their story because they believed it would encourage, empower, and inspire others to write their own stories and follow their own God-sized dreams.
I think Brad and Jerry knew winning a bike race would leave them feeling somehow unsatisfied. As I wrote yesterday (Now, What?), it needed to be about something bigger than themselves.
We didn’t make a feature-length documentary (just a short video), but we did tell our story to 40 groups and 4000 folks along the Mississippi River and to hundreds more since then. In its own way, the crazy story of RICH’S RIDE has encouraged, empowered, and inspired lots of folks to follow God-sized dreams. And it’s brought us to the amazing circle of folks on the FREEDOM TOUR and a chance to cycle to bring hope and freedom to kids at the HOME OF HOPE who’ve been rescued from human trafficking.
But this isn’t about that. It isn’t about a guy in a wheelchair doing an impossible handcycle ride, and it isn’t about Brad and Jerry doing a movie about an epic bike race.
This is about understanding the power of our stories, believing that God will use them in powerful ways we may not fully understand. It’s a reminder that, by sharing our stories, you and I can release someone else to discover their own.
Everyone has a story. Yours has meaning, value, purpose. Someone needs you to tell it honestly, openly, with humility and grace.