The Grace in Not Giving Up

24 hours before the start of the Wright Stuff century ride I came down with a cold. Frustration and disappointment ran high, because this was  my training focus for the month of August, and was the reason I’d been riding in Wisconsin these past several days. It seemed beyond my grasp that it was now all about Kleenex, alka Seltzer cold remedy, and zinc lozenges. I took the day off from riding and submitted to the above mentioned treatment of my unwelcome common cold: not knowing that a faith lesson was was coming together behind the scenes.

As I lay on the couch feeling sorry for myself, I picked up my friend Marty Kaarre’s devotional book  Breathing Holes. What I read was curious: ships are safe in a harbor, but that’s not what ships are made for. Then I read the next devotion about doing things with all our heart. DIVINE CONSPIRACY? I’m certain of it – because, after reading from three books, it was all about adventure, strength and not giving up. To be more specific, God the strength giver who shows up in my weakness.

Does God care about bike rides? I don’t really know…maybe. Does God care about what I do on a bicycle [or any other endeavor] that might impact the growth of my faith or character? Yes, I believe he does. And so, I got up this morning and went for a 101 mile bike ride that climbed the better part of 7000 feet, betting everything on this. After all, faith is the assurance of things not seen.

My cold symptoms disappeared.

I felt strong.

My form was spot on.

I did the fastest hilly ride of my life, and my nose didn’t run. Some may chalk this up to endorphins and the power of positive thinking, but when I’m sick the only thing I’m positive about is lying in bed.  Others might point to having 4600 miles in my legs this season, but I know first hand how fickle my performance can be. It was about something vastly more satisfying.

I trust in a God who’s so concerned about my Greg-ness that he sends me messages of hope and courage. More than that, he’s the Lord of head colds and the fixer of bad days. I started my day, and now end it with this conviction:

If God is for us, who can be against us?

003

Mike the Bike Bard and yours truly

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