More from Rich Dixon:

Today, an inspirational goal confronts the effort required to achieve it.

I believe the 1,000-mile goal was an answer to prayer, but He didn’t make it easy. It seems like Jesus often places answers within our reach and offers to journey with us as we move toward them.

After so many idle years, I dragged myself out of bed each morning. Aching and sore, I gulped breakfast and struggled onto the bike. Rides seemed ponderously slow. I could average five or six miles per hour on good days – and many days weren’t good. I rarely cranked more than 2-3 miles without stopping.

And here’s where handcycling intersects the story of Relentless Grace.

God didn’t just send guys to coerce me onto the bike. He provided a circle of supporters who intentionally pushed me forward on the most difficult physical quest I’d ever undertaken. Without actually believing I’d succeed, friends inquired about my progress, encouraged me, appeared at sunrise to ride along.

Most days I did two rides, morning and evening, to accumulate the necessary miles. As days faded in summer heat, I passed a hundred, then five hundred miles. Rides became progressively longer, though not much faster. The mileage chart on my computer spreadsheet climbed. And then it happened.

On an ordinary August evening, the day before school started, my odometer read 1000.0.

+ + +

My thousand-mile summer marked a turning point. But rather than an instant epiphany, it was slow, painstaking, one-crank-at-a-time progress.

The turning point arrived because I perceived a tangible result from a single 2-block ride – a one-degree miracle. I finally stuck with a commitment long enough to notice a substantial improvement from a small change in direction. However, 1000.0 wasn’t a destination. It concluded a chapter.

2 blocks. 1000 miles Markers along the journey toward a dream.