by Greg Zeroun
7-23 Bike Day 34, Harlowton MT to Townsend MT (94 miles 3,600ft elevation gain)
This past Sunday I stumbled on a scripture that has really stuck with me; it’s from The Message translation of the bible. It was awesome to me not only because it had deep meaning but because it had to do with building a home, and that is our mission after all:
Ephesians 2:19-22 "You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all–irrespective of how we got here–in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day–a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home."
I offered this passage as a devotional on Monday morning and I don’t think I gave it as much justice as it really deserves. I have had much more time to roll it around in my mind and really feel it out over the last few days. One of the things that really struck me, apart from the obvious team building metaphor that I used on Monday, is that we are all bricks and if one is missing then the building will have some structural difficulties, if another were to start to crumble or fall out of place the building would slowly start to fall. In addition to relying on each other to keep the home in place we also don’t get to choose where we are in the plan. We are not the masons in charge of building the wall, we get placed in it and we have to support the others we are placed with. It is our task to love one another like little children regardless of who we are loving. This means that even if the brick on top of me feels like it’s suffocating me I need to love that brick with all the joy of a child to make sure the wall I am a part of won’t have a hole because of me. It’s a hard task because I make it hard on myself. I make up reasons and excuses in my mind to avoid being a little child, I overthink things and place judgements on things, all the while forgetting to be a little child with my love. Then I look up from my thoughts and realize that I just summited another climb, and start rolling down a fifteen mile stretch of beautiful road. As I effortlessly descend one of the most amazing canyons I’ve ever seen I suddenly realize that this is God showing his love to me.
Who would’ve known that somewhere in the middle of the Helena National Forest on Highway 12 West in the beautiful state of Montana I would’ve figured out such a simple truth.
Before I left for this trip I knew that at the heart it was sort of selfish. I knew that it was going to be awesome to spend nine weeks with my beautiful new bride. I knew that it was going to be fun and beautiful. I even knew that the build days would probably be more fulfilling for me than they would be helpful for the people we were serving. What I didn’t know was that I would be stumbling on such profound epiphanies and deep rooted new friendships. I guess I was sort of foolish to not see that I would be learning so much about myself.