God’s Artwork

Written by: Susan Pratt

What a perfect day to write the blog. It was a day that truly lived out the reason I have decided to go on this trip. I have been participating on Fuller Center bike trips for seven years, enjoying it every time. I love the adventure, the kinship of my fellow cyclists (and support crew), the selflessness of all, and our passion for living out the word of God by striving to eliminate poverty housing. But, this year has been different from the previous six years. A medical condition nearly kept me from going on this trip. My family and friends all encouraged me not to go. However, I knew it was the right thing to do. My heart lies in the mission of the Fuller Center. And, most of all, I know God would be by my side the entire time. I decided early on the trip that my focus should not be on reaching my destination, but on the journey itself. Yes, I have been cycling from church to church, from city to city and making it nearly ever time. But, I realized that if I couldn’t make it to that destination, I would still be satisfied because now my focus is on my journey.

To clarify, yesterday, Mary spotted a Navajo man in the middle of the highway. He had fallen, so she lent a helping hand. When I arrived, I could see he was dehydrated so encouraged him to drink and gave him Nuun (which he totally loved). I sat him on the side of the road trying to decide to call 911 or the van.   With John Fender’s advice, we ended out calling 911. All went well, but it was a true lesson that we need to focus on the needs of the present and not reaching our destination. Yes, we were with him about 20 minutes (which meant 20 more minutes in the hot sun), but helping him is ever so much more important. It is good to know that he is now in good care.

Then, today, our ride from Kayenta, AZ to Bluff, UT was one of the most beautiful rides I have ever done in my life. I decided to ride alone so that I wouldn’t miss the beauty of the red rock sculptures.   It was as if I was cycling through the gallery of God, admiring his art work. The hills were phenomenal. Huge downhills and challenging uphills, all of which were framed by the red rock sculptures, made this ride exceptional. As I pedaled up that last hill in Bluff, sweating, putting my all into every stroke of the pedal, I knew God was present at every moment, never doubting that I would make Bluff. My focus on the journey helped me to reach my destination.

Then when we arrived at St. Christopher’s mission, I met Father Red Stevens. I spent a moment talking with him about the Navajo community. Then a group of teenagers from an Episcopal church in Los Angeles fed us a feast, then offered to take us on a hike in the red rocks surrounding the mission. Normally, I would rest. However, I decided that I needed to focus not on the ride tomorrow, but on the present. The hike was spectacular. From atop the rocks, we could see the Navajo nation below, the sunset, the simple elegance of natural rock. It was a perfect day as it helped me to realize that focusing on the journey, on every moment, is so much more rewarding than on the destination itself.   There is so much to appreciate in the people we meet, in nature and in my Fuller Center family. I hesitate to blink my eyes for fear of missing all that is around me in every moment of time.

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