Written by: Jennifer Elpers-Wells
So why do you suppose someone would decide to ride a bike for miles upon miles, complain about the “hills” they are challenged to climb, how their buttocks hurt from riding, or how sore and tired their legs are to then work on building a house the next day? Or even more challenging is to ride in the rain when it is 48 degrees. Each of us could be at home doing something we find more pleasurable. What would compel someone to ride about 240 miles and have 2 build days all within 6 days? Well I asked a few of my fellow teammates why they were doing what they were doing. Here is what some of them had to say.
*Aside from sore muscles, I get a good feeling that I’ve done something to help someone else
*Love the opportunity to help and serve others
*I love to ride my bike and help others out in need along the way
*The relationships are stronger when working with others to help others
*I enjoy seeing things get fixed, that things look better when we are done, helps me feel we are making progress and I like doing some work for someone else in need.
*Working with the group to make a difference
*I like touching another life in a positive way
*I like the mission of the Fuller Center… to end poverty housing around the world
These statements are all good motivators. Keeping our reasons in the forefront of our minds allowed us to build today despite the mud, mice, dust, trash and poison ivy that surrounded us. Pastor Randy of the Parkway Baptist Church signed the covenant agreement which formalized the partnership with the Fuller Center for housing. He is so invested in helping others. He not only helped his community today but he helped us help the community. We were able to put siding up, build a deck, build two garden boxes, clean the debris out of the inside of the home, install insulation on the inside of the house, perform work on the roof and clear the front yard of debris in preparation for landscaping. Oh and sheet rock was delivered and we took it off the truck and placed it in the home. A lot of hard work in one day!
What compels someone to ride and work like this? The beatitude “blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” may inspire some of us to help others. The Bible tells us to help others in need. Here are the 8 beatitudes given to us by Jesus.
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
- Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
- Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
- Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The Beatitudes reveal the goal of human existence, the ultimate purpose of human acts. Christ tells us that we will be happy by doing for his sake the very things which we may think will make us unhappy.
So tomorrow we will ride approximately 76 miles. There is a song that I sometimes hum while riding that refers to the beatitudes and helping others. Maybe this song will inspire you to keep riding when there is a hill to climb and your buttocks and legs are hurting! By the way, some of us think the hills along the Natchez Trace are tiny! It is all relative.
The link to Jennifer’s Beatitude’s Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yxs5wFpnGg.