2016 BTUSFMS #4 – A Gift Freely Given


August 9, 2016

It’s interesting to watch people’s reactions when you tell them you’re riding with a team going from Seattle to San Diego (even if I’m only going as far as Redwood National Park in Northern California).

Some folks laugh, some shake their heads, some open their eyes really wide. A lot of them think we’re crazy. They don’t see the gift inherent in riding 70 miles on a bike with 3,500 feet of elevation gain as we did today. They don’t find the joy in riding in the rain, sprinting for three miles to catch a ferry across the Columbia River, or being welcomed into Oregon with a two-mile climb into a headwind.

But today was a gift to us, freely given. All that was required was that we put away our usual routine of daily life and burn 4,350 calories riding a bicycle for a few hours.

A bargain.

People’s incredulity reminds me of a poem fragment:

Those who find it hard to believe
Have not yet learned how or when
To receive a gift, freely given;
Too caught up in earth
To see their heaven.

My hope for all of the uncertain spectators we meet along the road is that even if they never ride a bicycle, they open themselves to the wonder of joy in unexpected things.

It makes this life we have a revelation. Heaven is closer than we think.


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