A couple of weeks ago, Chip and I went for one of our summer bike ride adventures. We really enjoy these rides together as they are a great way to get some exercise and have some fun! Even though I want to get some exercise, I always feel compelled to suggest we ride into the wind as we are leaving home. It seems like the right thing to do…to put in some hard work up front and then be able to have less wind resistance later on in our journey. This important step/precaution helps me to not ride too far from home and thereby need to call a cab (or hail a passing pickup truck) to take me back to our house…haha!!
The day was beautiful. There was some wind resistance as we rode the 8+ miles to a nearby town, but it wasn’t bad. After all, soon we’d be eating lunch in town and the wind would be at our backs riding home. All was going as planned and, as we headed home, it was so much easier to pedal, to go faster. It was glorious. The wind was aiding us in our ride and not pushing back against us. The ride home seemed so easy compared to our ride into town…until all of a sudden the wind changed directions. I can tell you that riding into the wind on the way home was NOT in my plan and I was not amused. And, then it occurred to me how much our bike ride was a small picture of life. Has that ever happened to you? You’re traveling through life and then all of a sudden…WHAM! You feel like you’ve been knocked off your feet by some difficulty or tragedy.
Life often goes off script and adversity is seldom in our plans. Yet, it arrives uninvited at the most inopportune times anyway. We can be coasting along quite nicely or at the end of ourselves emotionally, physically, mentally, or financially. Adversity don’t seem to care. Difficulties arise at all points on our journey. I know many of us have found ourselves facing adversity lately, whether it be from the loss of a job, health difficulties, the death of a father or mother, another family member or friend. Or, perhaps you are reeling from the senseless and violent acts in Orlando or in our own hometown. We all find ourselves at the end of ourselves eventually, facing into the wind with our tanks on empty.
Thankfully, I wasn’t alone on that bike ride. I think bike rides and life are better when we don’t try to go it alone. We need each other. Sometimes we’re the helper and sometimes we’re the one who needs help. Sometimes we’re the encourager and sometimes we need encouragement. Sometimes we feel like we have nothing left to give and sometimes we are overflowing with time, health, energy, and other resources. In whatever end of the spectrum you find yourself, we’re a family. And, even though life might have a way of making you feel like you’re alone, you’re not alone. We are all on this journey home together! I guess that’s what I want you to know. I’m for you! I’m riding along on my bike beside you. And, if you need an encouraging word or a listening ear, or a bit of help along the way, I’m here. I can’t promise to have any answers, but you’re not alone.