I began my ride in Ontonagon, Michigan a little over two weeks ago. During the first week, we were on a long ride which was extended by six miles due to an unexpected road closure.
I found myself riding with a group of riders I did not expect to be riding with because they were much faster riders than me. I mentioned this to one of the riders, Gary, who replied that he was “riding to get there”—meaning that he had selected a pace that would enable him to complete the ride.
I reflected on this phrase many times over the next few weeks, such as when the route was especially challenging or when I was feeling extra aches and pains from various sources. In fact, this phrase embodies much of what the Fuller Center Bike Adventure is all about. We ride to get there—to the next rest stop, to the end of the day’s ride, and to fulfillment of the Fuller Center’s mission to end poverty housing.
Along the way, we have been blessed beyond measure: by the scenic forests and lakes large and small in Michigan, by the waves crashing against the rocks along the perimeter route around Mackinac Island, by the glorious sunrises and sunsets over the lakes of Michigan and Ohio, by the deep green of the fields and valleys of Pennsylvania.
And by the countless people at churches, gyms, community centers, and other places who ministered to us through delicious meals, comfortable places to sleep, and heartfelt conversations about both the Fuller Center’s ministry and their own ministries.
We ride to get there—and to do what we can to help our teammates get there as well, as this is a total team effort and not a singular undertaking. We ride to get there—to help those who need a hand up, not a hand out in order to have safe, affordable housing and to build new lives. We ride to get there—to do what God calls us to do in the place and manner in which he calls us to do it.
I am grateful to have gotten to the end of my ride with the help and encouragement of the entire FCBA team and to have contributed in some small way to peoples’ lives along the way.