1000 miles

Further into the story with Rich Dixon:


I finished my 2-block ride.

Arms aching, dead-dog exhausted from my first real physical exertion in a decade. As I crawled back into my wheelchair – with lots of help – I couldn’t wait to try again!

Recall God’s promise?

See, I am doing a new thing!
            Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

+ + +

A new habit emerged. Nearly every day I’d slide awkwardly onto the bike, struggle to lift my feet onto the footrests, and crank slowly around the block. Gradually a block or two longer, imperceptible progress clouded by doubt. I was sure I’d never do more than struggle around my neighborhood.

A one-degree miracle, no instant magic, but I was on a radically different path even if I didn’t yet perceive it. As May melted into June, an initial signal of change: I decided on a goal.

I told some friends I planned to ride 1,000 miles during the summer.

It was insane! Eighty days separated the last and first days of school in 1999. I could scarcely ride a block or two without stopping. A maximum workout covered less than two miles.

Now I committed to an average daily ride of 12.5 miles.

Everyone believed I’d set myself up for failure. Concerned friends suggested a more reasonable objective. No one, including myself, thought I would succeed.

I sincerely believe 1,000 miles was God’s answer to innumerable prayers for a sense of purpose. He’d been preparing me for a challenge, and He knew this was the proper time. Others tried for years to penetrate walls of despair and resistance, but His timing isn’t ours. He’s patient.

When the correct moment arrived, He placed me in the right circumstances and stirred an “impossible” trial to motivate and inspire me.

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

To be continued…

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