About a year ago, Jerry and I begun to train for the Katy Trail Ride across the state of Missouri. Neither of us had ever performed a long ride before. This was hopefully the first of many that we would do starting with this year and continuing every year hereafter. Below is a synopsis of each days’ ride. Of course, if you know me, I always think of an application. Every day this past week translated to an application for me and my Christian walk. So; along with the synopsis, I will give you how God used it to speak to me.
Monday(St. Charles to Hermann):
The high was 98 with a heat index of 105 or more. We rode 64 miles that day. I had not eaten enough carbs the night before nor had I eaten enough carbs for breakfast that next morning. Plus, we didn’t really find a place to eat until around 1 p.m. that afternoon. Needless to say, I was tired and weak as the day progressed. I ate a couple of bananas between our ride that started at 6 a.m. but that was all until we ate lunch at 1 p.m. It was a hot ride. Our bikes had an extreme amount of dust on them. There was no amount of training that could have prepared us for the dust and the heat that day. However, we finished. With the intent of this week being the last week-long ride we did on the Katy Trail.
Application for me:
Too many times, when the Christian walk gets difficult, it’s easy to want to quit serving God. It’s easy to question why God is allowing some things to happen. The Christian walk isn’t promised by God to be an easy one. It can be a hot, dry, lonely and difficult walk at times. The only way to make it through is to ensure that we are properly grounded in God’s Word; to ensure that we have a daily walk with Him. If we are not grounded in scripture, if we don’t have a close walk with God continuously, then we won’t make it through those difficult times in life.
Tuesday(Hermann to Jefferson City):
Tuesday it rained on us all day long. It wasn’t a downpour, but a steady rain nonetheless. About the time it would lighten up a little and the skies looked as if they were opening up, the rain would start back up again. We only rode 50 miles that day so that helped the day go by quicker. With the rain it was also a little cooler, so that was a blessing. However, the rain made it a muddy muddy trip. By the end of the day we were covered in mud and so were our bikes. However, Big O Tires in Jefferson City provided us a free lunch so that was a blessing. Plus by the time we made it to camp, the rain had subsided and we had clear skies the rest of the day.
Application for me:
Just when you think it can’t get worse, it starts to rain. You think you can’t take anymore and you’re hoping God will start changing your circumstances and it doesn’t happen. However, even in the middle of that rain storm, God provides some extra “shelter” or extra “blessings” to help you make it through this difficult time in your life. He gives us those to help us remember that He still cares and He’s still in control and we CAN trust Him. Then, at the end of that time period in your life, you can see the skies starting to open up.
Wednesday(Jefferson City to Booneville, MO):
This was by far the best day of the week. The rain cooled some things down a little(a little). I had learned my lesson and ate better portions of carbs and protein to keep me energized for a good ride. The rain had also settled the dust on the trail so we didn’t have that to contend with. We saw beautiful bluffs along the way and rode right next to the Missouri River. We were even able to get off; walk right up to the edge of the river and take some pictures. We rode that day for 53 miles. It was a great day and a great ride.
Application for me:
What a blessing for me that after those difficult times in my life, God always gives me those days/weeks/etc. that it is clear that He is in control; that He has already provided; and that my trust in Him is the correct thing needed. God DOES give us those “rose gardens” at times to relax and rest in Him. When those times happen, enjoy them, thank God for them, continue to praise Him, and continue to serve Him.
Thursday(Boonville to Sedalia, MO):
With the first 3 longest days of the trip complete, the worse was over. This trip was only a 37 mile ride. However, it was a constant incline 80% of the time. Not a huge incline(4%), but still a gradual incline out in the open sunny area. This made the ride a little warmer. Much like the day we had Monday. We still finished in good time, and we still felt good after the ride. However, it was definitely a hot, dusty day.
Application for me:
The “rose garden” won’t be around continuously. There will be times again where we struggle with some of the same things we struggled with before. There will once again be times of “dusty, dry, and thirsty” Christian living where we find ourselves fighting to win the same fights we’ve fought before.
Friday(Sedalia to Clinton, MO):
This was the last day of the week. It was a 39 mile ride. Little more dry and a little more dusty. But it was only 39 miles and it was the last day. We were full of adrenaline and averaged the fastest we had averaged all week. We felt like we had accomplished a great goal. We set out a year ago to do a bike ride such as this and we had completed it without anything major happening. Although we had questioned whether or not we wanted to do it again, by the end of the week, we decided there wasn’t any doubt; we did want to do this ride or something like it next year. Let the training for next year begin …
Application for me:
Once we’ve gone through those difficult times multiple times; Once, we’ve seen how God works in our lives; once He’s brought us through those times; it’s always a blessing to see how God takes care of us. Where at the beginning, we wanted to quit God, by the end we see how much He cares and how much He provides and we agree that our life is better with Him in control. So, when those times come again, it’s seems easier. Why? Because God has taken care of us before; He’s provided for us before; and now we can just go along serving Him and He provides. It’s almost routine for us. We just come to the point where we trust Him completely. Now, I’m not there yet. But, I hope one day to have enough faith and trust to completely let go and completely let God control my life. That is hard for me. But, it’s what God requires.
Where do you stand in your walk with Him?
Are you in the dry, dusty times? Stay faithful … He will bring you through.
Are you in the downpour of difficult times? Walk close to God … He will provide.
Are you experiencing the blessings God has for you? Be grateful and thankful to Him … He is your all in all.
Wherever you may be in your walk; stay close to Him and let go and let God. That is what He requires.
If you’re curious about more details of our ride, go to my twitter page and search #ktride. Plenty of pics and videos.
In the meantime … have a great week!
EXCELLENT, MR. BRENT! YOU ALWAYS HAVE THE VERY BEST LIFE LESSONS OTHERS WOULD FAIL TO SEE! THANKS SO MUCH FOR SHARING! I HAVEN’T TOLD EVERYONE BUT I HAD A BAD BIKE CRASH RIGHT BEFORE WE LEFT ON OUR 2ND HONEYMOON. I USED TO RIDE AN 18 SPEED AND OWNED THE FIRST GIRL’S CANNON MOUNTAIN BIKE IN FAYETTEVILLE. IT WAS PEACH AND WHITE! (O:
WELL, DON’T KNOW WHAT I WAS THINKING BUT I RENTED A THREE WHEELER AT DOGWOOD CANNON TO DO THE BEAUTIFUL TRAIL WITH OUR GRANDKIDS. THAT CRAZY BIKE DIDN’T STEAR OR TURN LIKE A REGULAR BIKE. I WENT FLYING OVER A BRIDGE AND INTO THE WOODS AND HIT TWO BIG WALNUT TREES. I LAYED ON THE GROUND WHILE SOMEONE CHECKED OUT ALL MY PARTS. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE AT AGE 67! THOUGHT YOU AN ARLYN MIGHT ENJOY A CRAZY, FUNNY STORY!
MISS YOU GUYS. WE WILL BE GLAD WHEN WE ARE BACK ON A ROUTINE CONNECT GROUP SCHEDULE! PLEASE GIVE MY LOVE TO ARLYN AND LITTLE BEN! WHAT A PRECIOUS FAMILY YOU ARE!
IN CHRIST JESUS! JO & RICK
Thank you for the kind words. I enjoy blogging. I don’t do it as much as I would like. Thanks for sharing the bike story. Glad you weren’t seriously hurt! I’ve fallen off a bike many times myself. Can’t wait to be back in connect group ourselves! Praying for your health and strength. I know Arlyn would tell you hello right back. And you’re right I’m very blessed!
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