A friend texted the other day and asked if some of us wanted to join him for a bike ride. Being that biking is completely outside, we could easily be together and continue to socially distance, this seemed like a good thing to do! The sun was bright and the air was warm. We could smell a hint of summer as we biked through the paths. With no agenda and really nothing to be back for, we followed the Three Rivers Regional Trail until our legs were aching. Each neighborhood we entered we talked about who lived close. It was like a parade only opposite in that we were watching all the houses as we passed them. It felt so good. Blue sky, great sun, physical activity, friends nearby. Although I could not see my friends in their homes as I passed, I knew they were there, and it made me smile to think of them. Occasionally we told stories of the people we rode by, and the funny moments or memories we’ve shared. It was good. It was healthy. It was healing.
After what seemed like miles, we decided to head home. Immediately my mind began to anxiously think through a route we could take to get home that did not involve going uphill. We had come a long way, my legs were tired, my shoulders were burnt, my rear end hurt from the bike seat. No matter how many routes I ran in my head, each one of them included a long steep hill that would eventually lead home. I knew there was no way around it.
How come life is sometimes like that? Why does it seem that when we are all but finished, the hardest part is still left? I had pushed myself the entire ride to keep up with the younger crowd. But what I did not realize was the hardest part would be the very last. But once I had completed that hill, I would be home and the ride would be awesome and complete. This journey we’re on feels a bit like that. We have come a long way, but we are not finished yet. Could it possibly be that we still have at least one more big hill to go? Could it possibly be that to get to the finish line we will have to endure another challenge or two? I don’t like that idea or that feeling. But I do know when I reach the end, the journey has been one worth being on. Colossians 1:11 says “We also pray that you will be strengthened with all His glorious power, so that you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with Joy.”
My prayer is that you will feel patience and joy as we climb a few more hills, together. And if you feel like your journey is all uphill, know that you are not alone. There is One who travels with you up each hill, around every curve, gently leading you home.