On my last bike ride, the odometer clicked past 2,000 miles for 2019.
That means I’ve cranked more than 39,000 miles since my first two-block ride in 1999. Depending on your perspective, that’s either a lot of miles or it’s not a big deal. Either way, this milestone offers an opportunity to reflect.
I didn’t set out trying to ride 39,000 miles. In those first weeks I hoped someday I could go a whole mile without stopping. Every day I just got on the bike and did that day’s ride. Weeks and months and years later, I look back and realize all those rides add up to something.
A 1500-mile tour along the Mississippi River. Several other tours in various parts of the U.S. Seven years of the FREEDOM TOUR and more than $215,000 donated to the kids at Project Rescue’s HOME OF HOPE.
I think that’s how God works. If we start out thinking we know what’s supposed to happen and try to impose our plans and our timetable, we end up trying to get Jesus to follow us. God wants us to start, to do the thing in front of us to the best of our ability, and trust Him for the outcome.
I absolutely believe God brought that first handcycle into my life. I didn’t understand at the time, but that’s usually how it happens. The momentous moments, the incidents that tip the scales, are often nondescript events like a two-block handcycle ride.
The big stuff results from years of trust, doing that day’s ride, and then the next, without knowing where it might lead. It happens when we’re willing to place our hope in God’s faithfulness rather than our own limited vision.
It’s amazing where Jesus leads us when we listen to Him and simply do our best to do the next right thing. It’s rarely the path we would’ve envisioned or chosen, but He never promised He’d agree with or work to actualize our preferences.
Raising kids. Building a career. Nurturing a marriage. Moving toward retirement.
We can fight the process, try to force it onto what we’re sure is the “perfect” path. Or we can listen and trust and look back at day’s and months and years that add up to something we couldn’t have imagined.
Our lack of faith. Or God’s faithfulness.