Insanity or idiocy or a demented desire to identify and challenge my limits? Just about all family and friends thought the first two would explain my attempt at an Iron Butt ride: 1,000 miles on 2 wheels in 24 hours. I lean toward a strange blend of all three.
On the insane and idiot side, I’m 70 with a bum knee. 1,000 miles will take about 13 hours of butt on seat time, with 6 stops for bike fuel with 3 including human fuel, adding maybe 4 hours. 17 hours from departing at 4 AM from home in Temecula hopefully will get me into Dillon MT about 9 PM, after riding 1040 miles. Well, 10 PM with the time change. One long day.
I reached the near half way point at Cedar City UT, 465 miles, at 10:30, well ahead of schedule but sore and tired, so I took a good break until noon. I’d begun to notice that Mapquest’s predicted distances didn’t match reality. The leg to Brigham City featured both some rain and traffic, with 300 miles to go. A very long 300 miles for a tired 70 year old. So, a longer rest.
Another needed longer break at Idaho Falls before hitting the last stretch to Dillon. By then I realized Mapquest missed it by 40 miles, the end would be 1,080. My spirits plummeted—more time on that granite seat. I wondered if it would ever end. Finally, at 9:40 local time, 16.4 hours after first hitting the start switch, I turned the bike off the last time that day. Dillon Montana. 1,080 miles. Mission Impossible became Mission Accomplished. A very tough day.
We all face difficulties that seem to have no end point. Cancer. Relationships. Jobs. Pain. Depression. And we wonder if we can get through. Discouragement grows, we’re ready to give up. Much like I felt like in Idaho Falls—beat, with 300 miles left.
The rest revived me enough to hop on the Honda and finish. Let me suggest that when we face troubles with no end in sight, that we find ways to revive ourselves. Physically and emotionally and mentally and spiritually. Yes, the method will vary for each of us. We need to know ourselves. That can keep us going and give us the best chance to outrun the hard times.
But frankly, sometimes the problem never ends in this life. Followers of Jesus die from cancer. Divorces end the dreams of a lifetime. Sometimes the ultimate healing and relief only comes as we enter heaven.
So how do we face either option and finish our course? We rely on what will never end, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23 RSV). God’s love never ends; his supply of mercy gets refilled every day.
I can’t understand all that God does or why. But I rely on the truth that he loves us, and works with us in all things. He will get us through to our Dillon MT.
Kick Starting the Application
Have you had some problems in the past you thought would never end, yet did? How did you handle them? How deeply did you involve God in it? Do you have some current difficulties that seem to miss having a deadline? What tools to revive you are available? How does the assurance of God’s love help you in the pain?