How Rich Dixon kept rolling.

Many of you know my friend Rich Dixon. You see him here most mornings, sitting down in the comment box. Last fall, you helped him support Convoy of Hope as he rode his handcycle the length of the Mississippi, from Minnesota to New Orleans. You’ve read his book, Relentless Grace, about his learning to live after falling off the roof.

Last Monday, he wrote about the challenges some other people were taking on as they chose to follow Jesus

A full, abundant life involves hard work, sacrifice, and risk, because that’s where we experience excitement, joy, and authentic fulfillment. [God] absolutely invites us to leave our comfort zones, but it’s not because He wants us to be miserable. He knows a quest for comfort at all costs is a waste of life.

Last Tuesday, Rich went to the garage and discovered that the handcycle had been stolen from the garage while Rich and Becky were sitting in the house. He called the police, he walked through some fear and frustration, but by Thursday morning he wrote,

I remembered something I wrote during the ride: Life’s determined more by choices than by feelings.

I want to choose gratitude, even though I don’t feel entirely grateful. I’m thankful the thief just took a replaceable thing rather than entering the house and perhaps doing something much worse. I’m glad he escaped without detection, avoiding a potentially dangerous confrontation with us or our neighbors.

He got the cycle back on Friday, discovered in a pawn shop, delivered by the police. But  what’s clear to me is Rich kept his heart from being stolen. On Thursday, before he knew the cycle would be returned, while he still was unsure he’d be able to keep a commitment to ride again this summer, he wrote:

Of course I feel violated and a bunch of other emotions.

But this is an opportunity to choose intentional response over reflexive reactions. It’s not about denial, it’s about acknowledging and trying to make better choices.

I want to forgive, though I don’t feel forgiving. I want to be thankful even in the places that don’t feel like it. I want to believe God will use this for good, though it sure doesn’t feel very good right now.

I’m grateful for Rich’s honesty through the process last week, living up to what he said. But that’s Rich.

For more information on his next ride, see Cincinnati to DC.

5 thoughts on “How Rich Dixon kept rolling.

  1. Rich Dixon

    Thanks for the kind words. Next step, I hope, is to speak directly with the guy who took the bike. Detective said they’d try to make that happen.

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  2. cjhinx

    This is a great story; one I have found to be very true, although I haven’t been pushed to the same extremes. The paragraph about a full, abundant life says so beautifully something I have found to be very true living with a chronic illness. Every morning I get up I have to push myself, thinking I want the very best of life I can have today. I want to be used by God in the fullest way possible. Why is it so often it is not until we are brought to our knees that we can see this more clearly?

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  3. joseph ruiz

    Jon, thanks for sharing Rich’s story. Rich thanks for modeling what real love is, it’s about choice and surrender and other things that make me uncomfortable. It’s easy to read that loving someone who loves you back isn’t really loving – it’s how do I respond when confronted with challenges, problems, violations of my space. I am glad you got your bike back; hopefully you can plant a seed in the life of the person who took it – I pray you get that opportunity. Well done.

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