There have been a couple of times in the past year where I have kicked and screamed (figuratively...almost) about something I was meant to do. This past week was one of them. Three months ago, I told my friends that I would ride in a bike ride, RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa), with the hopes of training and getting into shape. Seeing as how I have only been on a bike a handful of times in the past ten years, I was DEFINITELY counting on the training. We went out about 5 times...and with weather, children, activities, and life...there just wasn't much training done.
The days before the ride (this past week), I freaked out. Actually, I went to a bad place. I started pointing the blame to peer pressure, swearing I'd never commit to anything out of my comfort zone again, and basically making my life and my family's life miserable with my hysteria.
Heck, I couldn't even take my hand of the bike the last time I rode. I-was-a-chicken.
Some might worry about the physical stress after no training, but honestly, I was worried for my SAFETY! I envisioned myself tumbling down a hill and breaking many bones in my body.
Soooooo...what made me do it anyway? Maybe a little peer pressure, maybe my internal competitiveness...maybe reaching the edge of frustration and just taking the plunge. But... I showed up at 6 am on Wednesday morning, and decided to take it one 20 mile spurt at a time.
And I did.
And I kept going.
And I tackled those hills with LOADS of prayer and humility. God met me on the hills. I had no option but to pray. And I prayed for angels to protect my bike on the down slopes, and I trusted in the body He's given me to climb the up slopes. I recited the verses I used in labor.
"For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment." 2Timothy 1:7
And of course, I used this verse:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
Two days of nearly non-stop hills, and 100 miles of biking, this NOVICE bike rider crossed into the final town and nearly wept for joy. And I did take my hands of the handlebars...I even spoke on the phone at one point!
I came away with a couple of things from this feat in the heat of July:
1. I have some pretty great friends--like-minded women in Christ, who started out each day in prayer, and gave me plenty of GRACE for my sometimes bad attitude and my slow pace!
2. Mostly, that God will meet me wherever I am at, and truly shares His power when we submit ourselves to Him in our weakness. I could not have done this without Him. I am amazed that He is so faithful!! And having such an intimate time with Him in the struggle of the ride made this trip all the more worthwhile as I abided and He met me on the hills.