Written by: Cathy Cryvoff, Orange Ride
There is an uncanny way that you are given exactly what you need at just the right moment. Some call it luck. Some call it coincidence. Some call it divine providence. Frankly, you can call it whatever you wish. There is no right or wrong answer. But it’s important for me to come back this understanding over and over in my life.
The Fuller Center bikers and the warm community of Creve Coeur brought me back to the lesson of purpose. And I desperately needed this lesson. I tend to get caught up in the busyness of my life and can forget why I am here on this earth. Sure, I volunteer for this, that and the other thing. Sure, I take care of my family, cook meals, drive kids here to there and help with homework, but sometimes I lose sight of why I’m doing all these things. And then I landed in Creve Coeur with the Fuller Center for Housing Bike Adventurers.
The simple answer to my purpose is to love—to love others, to love my higher power and to love myself. It’s fascinating to me how I can lose my way and forget this simple concept. But the Fuller Center bikers are firmly rooted in their love. So rooted, that they ride thousands of miles to spread their message of love for all people. Bike. Speak. Build. Why? They do so in the name of love. And they radiate that love to every person they meet.
When I first signed up for the ride, it was to share in the experience with my son, trip leader Connor Ciment. His passion for the Fuller Center for Housing is contagious and I wanted to taste a piece of the ride. I signed up for a week’s segment. I would ride shoulder-to-shoulder, sleep on church floors and build beside him. My expectations were set. Then I started to train and some health issues that I had been managing made it clear that my body could not support me biking the distances on the trip. I lowered my mileage expectations each week as my disappointment grew. How could I participate in a biking trip without biking? How would I feel part of the group without sharing in this experience?
In the end, I rode not one mile. I didn’t even bring my bike. I reduced my trip from one week to a long weekend. I came into the trip feeling a lack of purpose. My disappointment from not biking clouded my vision.
And then the magic of the Fuller Center Bike Adventure happened. I was surrounded by love. Not just any love—unconditional love and light. My heart softened and another layer peeled away. I felt the disappointment dissipate. And I came back to my purpose—to love. No need to accomplish anything or do anything; no need to bike a mile. Simply loving and being present for those who cross my path. That was all I needed to do. And my whole perspective shifted.
I am grateful for my time with this amazing group of people. Each person has shared a story that has imprinted in my mind. Each person has helped to remind me of my purpose by their example. Know that you are loved in return. I humbly thank you for your welcome and your love. Thank you for giving me exactly what I needed this weekend. Blessings on the remainder of your ride. May our paths cross again in the future.