Written by: Mary Lacksen
The Fuller Center Bike Adventure welcomed me to Salt Lake City as they began week three of their cross-country ride. I am excited and SO grateful, but very intimidated to be jumping in with riders who have over 1,000 miles and the Sierra Nevadas behind them.
What a treat to begin with a rest day on my first day. We visited the Temple Square—home to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) and attended an organ concert there. A group of us ventured to Antelope Island for an afternoon swim in THE Salt Lake. Our host church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, shared their kitchen facilities with us, where Cheryl, Wes and Bill prepared and served us a delicious rib dinner before we tucked ourselves into bed.
So, well rested and fueled, early Monday morning the riders circled up in the church parking lot and listened to Becky’s devotion. Many of us were apprehensive of the day’s high temperatures plus a 4,800 ft climb to Heber. But surrounded by God’s creation of new summer growth, wild flowers decorating the road side, recently mowed hay fields, and distant snow-capped mountains, we absorbed a bouquet of smells and sights. Becky encouraged us to focus on this beauty of God’s creation and not on the challenges we face. I choose to acknowledge the sounds of water in the small creeks that ran rapidly by as we slowly pushed one pedal then the next, and made an even slower climb up another incline. God is with us every tire rotation as we move along the route. And yes, any challenge is easier when I rely on God.
I also have time to contemplate the possible challenges that an individual, a couple, a child, or a family faces when there is no place to call home. Like God’s creation, I take these things for granted. By opening myself to The Fuller Center mission, along with the support and efforts of many others, homes are being built and made available for others. In 2 Corinthians 8:1-9, Jesus asks us to demonstrate concern for others. First, how genuine is my love for others? Jesus became poor, although He was rich, so that by His poverty you and I might become rich. This takes stepping out of my comfort zone, opening my hearts to others and having hope. The ripple effect of hope moves people to care for people, which leads to making a difference in the lives of others. I am grateful to be a part of The Fuller Center and with these people who are making a difference.