Written by: Kristin Lillie, Orange Ride
It’s hard to believe we are finishing up segment three of the ride—crossed into our fourth state today, Utah! We have had some longer rides this week, leaving plenty of time for some good thinking while cruising through the countryside. To be honest, I have passing random thoughts such as, Why has no one invented a memory foam bike seat?! and I need to invent a cooler backpack, so I can have access to ice-cold chocolate milk throughout the rides! However, I do spend a lot of time in prayer and deeper thought, such as the following:
The Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure is all about working together as a team. As a sports fanatic, I can relate most aspects of our FCBA family to a team: our daily tasks to get us biking each day, the encouragement out on the rides, and working together on the build sites along our route. We rely on each other on the route, whether it be a pull from a teammate against a brutal headwind, encouragement up a tough climb, or an awesome cheer from our support team as we roll into the rest stops every twenty miles. My favorite part about our group is the unique individuals of all ages and walks of life that come together and make one big family. One of the best moments thus far on the trip was watching our team show up to a build site and all find our role to help out on the house. The transformation made to the house was evident in just eight hours, and watching our team come together to help out those in need was incredible. In three weeks, our group has collaborated to share our faith, passions, and serve others. I am excited to see how much more we will grow as a team over the remaining weeks.
Never Stop Giving
The first day of orientation, our group shared how we heard about The Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure and why we decided to sign up. I often think about how neat it is that we all have different stories, yet ended up in the same place for one similar reason—to give back to others. One of my favorite quotations by Winston Churchill reads: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” The motto of our trip is to live simply, allowing us to focus on what matters. I think about ways in which everyone is able to give: sharing a smile, encouraging someone else, holding the door. These are all simple things, but are not often recognized as “giving.” I have felt God working in my heart to help me understand how to utilize my passion to help others for His glory. Each person on this trip and every person we encounter has a story. The beauty of living with a giving heart is how the cycle continues after one act of kindness. For example, yesterday, a stranger stopped to offer help to a few of us after we were on the fourth flat tire within ten or so miles. They offered us popsicles, and as we were enjoying them, we noticed their truck (with no one in it) rolling into oncoming traffic. They luckily saved it, and we shared a good laugh. It is through endless good deeds that the world continues to spin and our relationships with one another grow stronger.
Embrace the Journey
It’s only human nature to avoid what lies outside of our comfort zones. I remember waking up multiple times the first night thinking, Wait, can I actually do this? The farthest I have ridden my bike is 100 or so miles, and I don’t know how to work on houses. Just one day later, I knew that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Our group quickly bonded, and we have become one big family. The mileage we have biked is quantifiable, and most sights we have seen are captured in photos. One of my random thoughts is how our mental and spiritual growth cannot be precisely measured in any distinct way. I have felt more present in each moment throughout this trip. Spiritually, I have been able to spend more time with God in a community of others who share various insights to their own faith. I consciously have noticed that I am more thankful for what I have as I give thanks to God for the physical ability to ride my bike miles each day, have food to eat and a roof over my head each night, and the opportunity to get to know others within our group and the communities where we stay along the way. I feel a desire to give more, do more, and be more, thanks to my experience with the FCBA family. It’s all about the journey, and this is one crazy, challenging, fun, rewarding one.