Sunday, July 31, 2011

Perseverance and Passion

 It's been 18 days since I left the trip.  I've already gained back 9 of the pounds I had lost on the trip.  I am also still wearing the Desperation Conference wristband that I got the first day I arrived at that.  So what do you really take a hold of after spending 4 and half weeks on a bike riding half way across the country? The first thing I learned, by far, is perseverance.  Right from the get go, that first day of biking, your muscles already feel like quitting, but you have to just keep going.  Climbing up to Skykomish in the rain, wanting to stop as much as possible to warm up, but you have to just keep going.  Climbing up Stevens Pass as the temperature drops and snow is seen on the ground, wondering every pedal if you are any closer to the top, but you have to just keep going.  Biking 100 miles of hilly terrain, becoming delusional at the end, with your muscles shaking because of lack of energy, but you have to keep on going.  From 3 flat tires the next day, to getting lost the next, from going up 3 hills (one on gravel), to biking uphill in the heat, to biking through consecutive days of 80 miles in the wind, to having riding partners wanting to quit, to climbing 9,500 and 11,300 ft mountains, to crashing and having to get stitches, YOU HAVE TO JUST KEEP GOING.  Life isn't always going to be peaches and cream, in fact it might be lemons and cream (imagine with me that lemons and cream is the opposite of peaches and cream).  You might have obstacles that jump in your way, some that seem insurmountable, some that seem 11,300 ft in the air, but you can't give up.  Perseverance is the only way you are going to make it to your goal.

But it's hard to have perseverance for something you couldn't care less about.  so what is your passion? That's the other thing I learned most of all on this trip.  If you don't have passion for what you are doing, it is a lot easier for your mind to give in and give up.  Every day as I was riding was a different experience.  On mountain days, my passion was uphill climbing (that seems weird, but trust me, i love it!) so i bolted as fast as I could to the top of the summits and left nothing behind.  On flat, monotonous days, the passion that kept me going was God.  The fact that I was doing this bike ride for Him, and for His mission, was enough for me to keep pedaling, and pedaling, and hours of pedaling.  When the trip concluded, I got to cap it off in a very unique, awesome, inspiring, passionate, Desperate way!  The end of my trip concluded at the same time as the Desperation Conference in Colorado Springs started.  I was able to cap off a ride of desperate passion and perseverance with a conference that was all about being in desperate pursuit of God, of having no empty prayers, no singling lies, no token vows.  During every worship set, I saw a passion in the youth in that room to ignite a generation, to tell their friends, to change their schools, to change everyone around them and bring them to a deepening relationship with Jesus Christ.  That's our goal guys! "To go and make disciple of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. and sure I am with you always, even to the very end of the age."  Are you passionate about that? Are you desperate to pursue that goal?  or is that just something you skim over as you fruitlessly scan through the bible? If that is your passion, then persevere on!

"Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. " - 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." - Hebrews 10:23

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." -  Hebrews 12:1

"He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels." - Revelation 3:5

So hold strong! Find your passion in the Lord, desperately pursue Him with all perseverance!