Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mile Marker 80

It was a beautiful July morning when we started out. It was my first bike ride that was longer than 15 miles. Through out the day we (me, my dad and our good friend Jim) would ride a total of 111 miles around Utah Lake. Little did I know that I would be learning many hard, but important lessons that day.

There were many different parts of that ride that will never be forgotten. But one in particular that will always be imprinted in my memory. It had been a long, but good, day of riding up and down hills, stopping at aide stations and refueling, and then getting back on the bike. We hit mile marker 80 and that's when the real test started.

We found ourselves once again climbing hills. The only difference this time was after you finished climbing one hill, another one would start. On top of that we found that we were fighting a pretty bad head wind  (between 15-20 mph). I remember watching my dad pull away and disappear into the distance. Feeling helpless and completely unprepared there was no way I could keep up with him.

So many thoughts were running through my head, "How did I get myself into this? Why didn't I prepare more? Can I even finish this?". I felt my pace slow and warm tears flow down my face. Many others passed trying to encourage me to stay on the bike and to finish strong. But I just didn't feel like I could do it. My strength was spent, I felt alone, abandoned, unprepared, and inadequate. It was just too much, I couldn't do it...I just couldn't do it.....

A hand, gentle but firm, touched my back and gave me a push. I had forgotten that our friend Jim was riding behind me. I had never been alone. Someone was always there by my side. It wasn't a hard push but it was just enough to keep me going. I looked up to see my dad waiting for us at the last rest stop. He embraced me in his arms and whispered my my ear how proud of me he was. With new found energy, my dad in front and Jim behind me we made our way to the finish line. We did it. We finished the race.

What significance does this story hold? Why would I still look back after 8 years and remember this experience? What lessons did I learn? When ever we feel on the verge on giving up or that we are alone, inadequate, and unprepared. There is hope. We have a loving Heavenly Father who sent His son, Jesus Christ, to help us, to be there for us. In the good times in the bad times, they are always with us.  When we feel we can't go any further and that it's time to give up. We can feel the gentle touch of our Savior, encouraging us to never give up and to let us know that He is and always has been there.

I am not perfect and I don't know everything, but I do know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. We may not always feel of His presence, but He will never leave us, especially when we need him the most.

With Love,
Sister Boatright