Endurance, Character, and Hope

Written by: Mike Rutherford

I’ve had the pleasure to rejoin my Fuller Center Bike Adventure family for the summer this year after two years of Spring Rides. Being a week rider, we face some challenges that are unique to the summer adventure; will I be able to survive the miles and heat during the summer, will I find new faces and friendships, and will I be able to make a meaningful contribution to the group and to the community as a whole? Like the other weekly riders before me on the trip we have always seemed to find a way to press through the miles and heat, the familiar faces and new friends are plentiful, and we have opportunities to bless through build days and interactions with the community. I figured by the middle of this week that I was going to focus on getting the miles completed and have a great time with my friends.

I was scheduled to blog today and I was figuring I would write about my experiences and being part of the group, however I wasn’t expecting to be taught a lesson in endurance. Today was supposed to be an 85 mile day with relatively mild grades and some time on the Erie Canal bike trail. It turned into a challenging day of headwinds and flat tires. Multiple team mates had mechanical issues and had to abandon the ride. The thought of just hopping in the van was rattling in my mind as we continued to ride into the unrelenting headwind. Then the flat tires started for the group and myself. I’ve generally been lucky to avoid flat tires. When they occur they are usually singular events and I can just keep going. Today I was lucky enough to double flat within 15 miles. As I was changing my second flat and my ride buddies were providing assistance the thoughts of “maybe I should just call it a day” started to creep into my mind.

That’s when I was reminded of Romans 5:3-5 and that my temporary suffering (flat tires and headwinds) builds my endurance, and my endurance produces character, and character produces hope. I decided to press on with the ride and at the end of the ride I was pleased that I didn’t give in because I learned how to endure challenges on my bike that are new and mentally challenging.

And it is similar to the struggle for affordable housing, we tackle the issue of housing one house and one family at a time. The global scale of the challenge of global housing can seem overwhelming but if we continue to endure and persevere we will continue to make a difference in a life, a community, and eventually the world. Please continue to pray and support the Bike Adventure team and the Fuller Center as we bike across the US and continue to address affordable housing across the globe,

Posted in 2015 Oceanside, CA to Portland, ME, Blog.