What are you passionate about? What lights up your eyes when you talk about it. What gets you really fired up? Are the desires and passions of your heart active in your life or are they just a dream for one day when you are old enough, rich enough, worthy enough, ready enough or just enough?
I rode an 8km bike ride yesterday for the opening of one of the sections of the rail trail. All the way to the start I was thinking if I should go and what business I had riding 8km. I was not fit enough. I am pretty new to riding a bike. What if I crash or look silly.
Well I registered and received my little brochure with a number on it and got ready to ride 8km. It started to rain and it was really windy. I was getting wet, I was cold and I was uncomfortable but I was determined to start and see it through to ride for my family.
Well the ribbon was cut and there was no turning back. My husband and my girls had headed back to the car and would be waiting for me at the finish and I thought riding 8km was the same as walking 4km and I have done that pushing a stroller with 2 kids in.
I prayed for good weather and that the sun would come out and dry me and that the wind would calm down.
I found a gap and off I pedaled. I couldn't tell how far I had gone after 20 mins so could not gauge how long I had left. 30 minutes passed and I had no clue even if I was half way. It rained on and off and there was a rather discouraging head wind and at one time a wind that blew from the side. I pushed up two hills and free wheeled where I could. By this time my seat was feeling decidedly painful and numb in parts all at the same time and I just couldn't find a nice spot to get comfortable on on my narrow saddle. My legs were burning and with every head wind I had to pedal harder. There were so many people passing me I was sure I was stone last. I saw the train chugging passed and was thinking that possibly I had about 1km to go to the finish. By now 40 mins had passed and I was wondering if I should stop for some water and raisins but figured that it should all be over soon and I should just press on. There weren't that many hills left and it seemed to be all downhill from there on.
I clicked up a gear and that made pedaling less of an effort. After 50 minutes I could hear music and I started to smile I was almost there at the finish. I had done it. My very first 8km ride and I had done it on my own despite the weather and not being very fit. I came over the last little rise and saw my 4 daughters and my husband waiting for me. I couldn't stop grinning.
We went off to have a little bit of lunch before the prize giving. All those who had participated were given a brochure that had a unique number on it and if your number was called then you won the prize. There were two big prizes. One for a night away in one of the local Bed and Breakfasts that also included a 5 course meal and wine. The other was a mountain bike. As the numbers for the vouchers were being called I half hope that my number would be called but also that it would not until the two big prizes were to be drawn. I stood and waited and glanced around the stage to see what the bike looked like and the only thing I could see was this little turquoise and blue ladies bike with this sweet little pannier on the back similar to one I had seen earlier in the day and though wow what a neat idea and wondered about getting one for myself. I really hoped a woman would win it. It would be so wasted on a guy. My number didn't get called for any of the vouchers, phew, aww.
Finally the Night away prize was drawn and it wasn't my number but my nephew's!
Drum roll.... who would win the bike? Would my number get drawn?
154... come again? The microphones cut out and no one could hear the number being called again. But I heard it again 154 and I went up and showed them my number and I had won this wonderful bike. I was so excited! I shook that hand of the man that had donated the bike. It was amazing. My number out of over 400 others.
I had had a really down day the day before. It was my 10th Wedding Anniversary and we didn't have anything planned and I wasn't feeling to good and my father-in-law was in hospital with a serious health problem so I was unsure whether to cancel our picnic the next day and not going riding either but instead drive an hour and a half to the hospital.
But one of my husband's brothers was with his Mom and the other went to visit his Dad and we decided that there wasn't very much we could do at the hospital and that we should support my husband's brother with the opening of the last leg of what has been a long project for him with the rail trail.
You see when God puts something in our hearts, be it a desire or a passion, we can let negative thoughts from the enemy discourage us. We can allow fear to creep in and dampen our passion. This reminds me of a documentary I flicked through to on TV about a team of guys who were climbing up a high mountain. One guy said, 'We climb up at night in the dark because if we went up in the day we would see how far it is and how high up it is and we would become discouraged and give up'
When we make that step into doing what we are passionate about we will be met with situations that will call for perseverance. The way is going to be tough and it may even be dark but maybe God has made the way unclear so that you don't back out when you see the bigger picture.
The price is your comfort. It is not going to be comfortable. It is going to be difficult. Sometimes you will not find a nice soft warm place to rest and you will need to gather up all your strength and lean on and trust God to get you through.
At the end there will be a prize. The prize is Jesus and eternity with Him. The prize is achieving a goal. Taking a risk with your talents and seeing the fruit there of. Take a number and get in line and start the race. If you don't start you will never feel the joy of the finish.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.