Chain of Rocks (Part 1)

Rich Dixon gets close to halfway through his ride:


Crossing historic Chain of Rocks Bridge wasn’t as simple as I imagined.

A beautiful Sunday morning sunrise. Speak at a church in Alton, Illinois. Ride thirty miles on the Illinois side of the river. Cross the bridge, complete the ride at the St. Louis Arch. This afternoon cruise would spin my odometer past 750 miles and commemorate the halfway point of our journey.

A perfect plan (insert laugh track).

I’ve learned that following Jesus is more about preparing than planning.

+ + +

One benefit of speaking in different churches is remembering Jesus doesn’t live in your worship culture. People worship Jesus in a variety of settings and styles. It’s not about how or where, but whom we worship. The folks in Alton were kind and welcoming and made us feel like part of the family.

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A beautiful road along the river – Sunday traffic, but nice, wide shoulders. As I traveled south hundreds of cyclists pedaled north as part of a one-day century ride.

I caught myself wondering who had the easier ride. I cruised downhill with the river into a significant breeze. Cyclists traveling north had the opposite conditions. Which was easier?

Silly question.

“Easy” isn’t the purpose. The goal is to travel well. I wanted to enjoy each moment of this amazing journey.

Also, watching other riders, I looked to my left. Meanwhile, a beautiful stretch of shining water passed unnoticed on my right. This was a scene I’d likely never see again. Focused on others’ actions, I was missing it.

This sort of comparing is wasteful. It’s an excuse. As long as I’m concerned with someone else who might have more or less, I avoid digging into my own journey.

The other guy’s path doesn’t matter. I need to move forward toward my own goals.

I need to discard whatever distracts me from following Jesus, and the dream.

To be continued…

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