This past Sunday evening, the weather was gorgeous outside. It was around 7:00pm and through the trees, I could see that the sun was slowly setting. All of a sudden, I decided that I wanted to go on a quick bike ride and enjoy the sunset from our gravel road. I asked a few of my sisters if they'd like to join me, but they were busy with other things and didn't really want to come. In fact, they looked at me like I was crazy! (I guess some people don't enjoy physical activity...especially spur-of-the-moment physical activity. lol) But I wasn't persuaded to stay in the house by their odd glances. I just resigned myself to the fact that I'd be going alone.
I walked down to the machine shed to grab my bike, and I found my Dad was in there working on one of our lawnmowers. He asked what I was doing, and I told him I was going on a quick bike ride. Often, it's just Dad and I that go biking together, but that night he really needed to get the lawnmower working and wasn't able to come with me.
So, I set off down the road all alone. It was so quiet and peaceful. I began to think that it was actually nice to be alone and just enjoy the beautiful sunset in silence. I decided to ride to the end of our road and sit there while the sun went down. It's so beautiful to see the sun set over the golden cornfields with all the little farm houses on the landscape. My heart was singing, "Oh, Lord - how great you are!"
But soon, my nice quiet trip turned a little sour as I was distracted by several other thoughts that kept popping into my head. "Ugh, it's so difficult to ride on gravel." "Yikes! Have all the gnats in Linn county decided to settle here? They're dive-bombing my eyes and nose. Yuck!" "When did our road get all of these hills? I wanted a nice bike ride, not a workout!"
Needless to say, my bike ride was not going as planned. My legs were burning, my eyes were watering from all of the bugs that decided to lodge there, and my hair kept blowing in my face. I could barely see the road, let alone the beautiful sunset! My mood has definitely turned from excitement to frustration. And then they came, the thoughts of defeat and compromise. "Maybe I should just turn around and go home. This isn't what I thought it was going to be, and there's another larger hill ahead. I've swallowed a million gnats and I'm getting a little sweaty. I should just turn around."
Yes, there was a battle raging in my head. What should I do? I wanted to make it to the end of the road and enjoy the sunset, but there were all of these "good reasons" to turn back. I rode awhile longer, the large hill getting ever closer, still trying to decide. And then, the Lord reminded me of something. He said, "Bekah, you can turn around if you want to. You're right - it would be easier." And He reminded me of a few areas in my life where recently I've made small compromises and I've sometimes given up when the going was getting tough. I stopped my bike and stood there for a minute, knowing that He was right. I was getting a little off track and I needed to refocus on Him. I silently prayed for His help and His strength to do those hard things. (Remember the gnats? I wasn't about to open my mouth!)
But then He encouraged me, "Press on! Ride up that hill and to the end of the road. Finish what you started to do! And let this night, this bike ride, be a reminded to you in the coming days. Whatever I have called you to do, I will work in you and through you to accomplish it."
Feeling very encouraged, I jumped back on my bike and pounded up that hill. Were there bugs? Oh, yes. Lots of them. Was it tough? Yep. Especially because I was stopped and didn't have the momentum built up. But was it worth it? Absolutely. The sunset was gorgeous. The colors were bright and so vivid, and they appeared to rest on the tops of the corn stalks at times. The wind died down and the night was deathly still. It was perfect.
Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera. But that's okay. That night was just between me and my Lord, anyway.