by Mark Major
Billings, Montana was our rest stop at the end of week six. Having joined the ride in Chicago this was my third. Prior to joining the ride I hadn’t trained adequately; my cumulative miles for the year were exceeded in week 4. Weeks four and five were extraordinarily long, the shortest being 80 miles, one of which included demoralizing headwinds in excess of 20 mph. This intensive riding made up for my lack of training. Having been a “whole way rider” in 2013 I knew what I lacked in ability and inspiration would be provided by the experience participating in this group. Upon my arrival I reunited with members I rode with last year so I felt right at home. Then there is the delight of meeting new family, which has grown, for the popularity of this Adventure is increasing. In that setting my potential, the potential of others, and the mission are compounded.
Problems shared are divided, joy shared is multiplied, and in both cases the miracle occurs. I don’t think any one of us could do this on our own; maybe a few could hop on their bikes with the right gear and do the miles, but our combined effort has such a profound effect that continually amazes me.
We were guests of Heights Baptist Church. We brought our needs to them and their abundance regenerated us, and we were so grateful and humbled by their hospitality. Such generosity is beyond expectation. What amazes me, though, is in their tireless service to us they gain as much inspiration. The congregation seemed energized by the task of receiving this group of strangers. Saturday they opened their spacious church home with everything we needed in the way of showers, entertainment, and food. Sunday we were fed spiritually by attending service, where an offering was collected
Being selfish in nature I have only discovered these principles late in life, despite the offers ofothers to share the most basic teachings of Christianity all along. It only came to me through my personal desire to fulfill my dream to ride my bicycle across this country last year. On my circuitous route I accidentally became immersed in serving humanity via the Fuller Center for Housing, and self-seeking no longer serves me. My purpose in life is to have the life of purpose I have found in service. Even in that I feel selfish, for I can never repay all that I have received from this, but then have even more to give. For me, that is a miracle.