A few weeks ago, Hubby and I bought new hybrid bicycles. Normally we would never spend the money for a couple of nice bikes like these, but when we found them for about half price at Costco, we thought about it for a few days, then went back to buy them before they were gone for good.
We took the new bikes with us on our first trip camping with Little Red just over a week ago, and we loved riding them so much that we ended up riding about twenty miles in two days, and I actually rode a little more than Hubby did, probably about twenty-five miles. It felt so good to be able to ride comfortably once again, instead of working more to try to ride the trail bike all the time.
I found myself giving thanks over and over again on our long ride…
… thankful for being in good health in my mid-fifties to even be able to ride
… thankful for my new bike at a good price
… thankful for a sweet man to accompany me that is willing to “ride” with me on our journey
… thankful for a pretty much weather-perfect day in a beautiful place with a flat road (ha)
… thankful for the tiny little yellow flowers that were just beginning to pop out
… thankful for our RV that enables us to get away with our dogs and just relax and be in God’s creation more than ever in our lives
… thankful for the history of the area and for Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight
… thankful for the bison and the bison babies
… thankful for the prairie dogs and their little babies
… thankful for the deer
… thankful for the song birds
… thankful for spring
… thankful for the magnificent beauty of this unique place
… thankful that no one in our family was sick or injured at that moment
… thankful that God listens to me and my randomness
… thankful for the Allsup’s in Quitaque that had a diet soda when we arrived in town
… and …
… thankful to be able to be thankful.
That last one came after a few weeks of struggling a bit in that area.
As we made our long trek on the bikes on Saturday morning, we had a little breeze in our face for the first five miles. I was glad to have the breeze against us on the first part of the journey, too. I thought that I would be pretty tired on the journey back to camp, since we were not used to riding quite this far in one stretch. Sure enough, I was starting to feel a little pain in my legs as we started on the way back, but having the wind at my back made the journey so much easier once we got rolling again. By the time we arrived back at camp, I found that I was in very little pain and having the time of my life. I wanted to continue to ride, but Hubby was tired and ready for a break.
I then took Girly Girl on a little hike on a nearby trail, and I was overwhelmed with a realization that this is how I want to end my life one day… with the wind at my back.
Life is a training experience, isn’t it? We take on a lot of “headwinds” throughout the course of our lives, and hopefully we are in good shape by the end of our journey. People who have trained properly through proper disciplines to ride bikes can do so very well, regardless of whether or not the wind is in their face. They are in excellent shape and have the proper equipment to ride well and ride for long distances. We have just such a friend, and he has ridden across the United States on his bike… twice. I cannot imagine being in such good shape, but he is proof that it can be done. He still rides more than I can only dream of doing, and he is in his early sixties.
For me, in a spiritual sense, I don’t want to be stuck in “training mode” when I am nearing the end. I want to be sailing along with the wind at my back, mature and dependent on God in ways I am not today. I want to symbolically be “riding cross-country,” doing good works, living a life of happy discipline and enjoying the scenery when I’m ninety. How nice it would be to go into those closing days with the wind at my back, instead of straight in my face, like it often is right now in many respects for me today. I have seen others do it well. I know it can be done.
I have much training left to do. ;-)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. — Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV, emphasis mine)
Blessings to you this week, as we prepare our minds and hearts for Easter once again. May we approach the day with truly grateful hearts and consider Him who persevered the cross and set the ultimate example for us all.