This week’s blog was supposed to be about my family’s fishing trip this past Saturday. However, the boat that we were going to go on had some mechanical issues and the trip had to be canceled. One could look at this situation and become upset or angry. I looked at this as an opportunity to work on some other projects that I needed to get done in preparation for my upcoming bike tour. Yes, I was disappointed that we were not able to go out fishing like we had planned because I really love to fish and I could have used a day of relaxation and fun. My wife and I did get to complete the remaking of a waterproof bag that was needed to go on my trailer to hold all my gear. That was a fun project and went together easier than I could have imagined. That bag will be traveling with me all around our great country and is much better than the original bag that came with my trailer. Was it as fun as the fishing trip would have been? Probably not, but it was something that needed done and it feels great to get another project done.
We also were able to film and edit my very first YouTube video. Please go view it when possible and subscribe to my YouTube channel at Texas Triker. This video looks pretty good but I am sure my videos will get better as I continue to learn and develop my skills. I plan on doing a short video every night to show some of the highlights of my day and to post some photos of things I find interesting.
Things are progressing nicely as the start date of my bike tour fast approaches. I have purchased all my food that I will be using for the first several weeks. I have all my gear that has been packed and repacked and double checked. I have all my clothing and personal items ready. My training has been going well and I am up to riding 50 miles each day, usually broken up as 30 miles in the morning and then the other 20 in the evening. I have been trying to get my body ready for the morning and afternoon ride schedule as I am trying to keep up my scheduled miles each day. I have also started to get up earlier to get my body used to the early morning riding. I will be posting more videos on YouTube to show my trailer with all the gear, to show all the food that I will be using, and to show what my nightly camping set-up will look like so stay tuned.
Now, how do I stay motivated to keep up all this preparation and training? I pray often and ask the Lord to direct me everyday. I also pray that positive situations continue to occur in my life on a weekly basis. For example, I have been praying about raising the $25,000 that I have set as my goal and I have already received $905 and I haven’t even started my trip yet. Thank you to all that have donated. I also have meetings this week with different organizations in Victoria, Texas that may result in more support. My brother, sister, mother, wife, and daughter have also been great in sharing my status and goals with their co-workers and this may also result in receiving more donations. My family and friends continue to share my story and have supported me in pray and have sent encouraging words to me at times that I really needed them. My Bible Study Group at Northside Baptist Church have already been praying for me and will continue to help my wife while I am on my trip. I also have made almost 1500 friends on Facebook. I may never actually meet most of you but I love the support and encouragement that I receive from those all around the world. I also receive encouraging post like the two shown below.
The church that I attend every Sunday is Northside Baptist Church in Victoria, Texas. For the past several weeks, our pastor has been preaching on the book of Nehemiah which he has titled “The Nehemiah Experiment”. These sermons have covered the story of how Nehemiah obeyed the calling that the Lord placed on his life and by doing so, was an example to others in that region. These sermons have really encouraged me and have affirmed that as I obey the calling that the Lord has given me, I may be an example for others in my area. I know that what I am doing is what the Lord wants me to do. I also know that there may be some negative times coming my way but if I really trust in the Lord and lean on His strength, I will succeed.
I also know that my family is supporting me and backing me in my decision to do this trip alone and be on the road for about seven months. Their support keeps me motivated and determined.
There may also be times that I will feel discouraged and may question why I am doing this trip. During those times, I need to keep telling myself that I am not doing this trip for me. I am doing it for all those veterans that are still suffering from the effects of PTSD. Every peddle turn that I make gets me one turn closer to the goal. I am only human with human abilities, but this trip is about digging deeper and finding that inner power that we all have. The Lord is my strength and my power comes from Him. There is a saying that we hear at the Christian Warriors Retreat Center and it goes like this “It’s Not About You”. I think about that phrase a lot. When I am tired and not wanting to go on, I think about that phrase. When I am tired and hurting, I think about that phrase. And when I am lonely and away from my friends and family while on my trip, I will think about that phrase.
I read an article in my local paper on Saturday. The writer of this article in Andrew Schroer who has been a pastor for nearly 20 years and is currently serving at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Edna, Texas. He writes what is called “Bread Crumbs” every Saturday. This weeks title is “Center of the Universe”. The article talks about how big space is and starts of with the following analogy: If a ballpoint of a pen was on my desk and was Earth, the sun would be the size of a ping pong ball about 15 feet away. The nearest star to our solar system, Proxima Centauri, would be another ping pong ball located in the city of Toronto, Canada. Now remember, I live in Victoria, Texas. That’s how relatively far Proxima Centauri is from the Earth. And that is the closest star to our solar system. There are more than 100 billion stars in our galaxy, all of which are trillions of miles farther away. And that’s just our galaxy. Scientists estimate that there are more than 200 billion galaxies in the known universe, each containing between 100 billion and one trillion stars.
Again, space is big. The article continues. From the perspective of the moon, the Earth appears to be the size of a marble. From the perspective of other galaxies, the Earth is imperceivable. It is invisible. It is nothing.
So what does that make us? We aren’t even a microscopic speck in God’s universe. We are insignificant microscopic specks in God’s universe. Yet God doesn’t treat us that way. In His great love, He made tiny, insignificant human beings the crown of His creation. We are tiny specks, yet God knows and loves each of us personally.
We need that perspective because so often our perception is skewed. We often see ourselves as bigger than we really are. We make ourselves the center of our own universe. My life, my goals, and my happiness become the purpose of my existence here on Earth. God made us tiny specks to be the crown of His creation. And what do we do? We treat Him as small. We treat Him as insignificant. Instead of our lives revolving around Him, He becomes a small satellite that enters our orbit only when we think we need Him.
God became one of these insignificant specks just like you and me to take our place and die our death. Because of what God did, we are forgiven for all the times we have made ourselves the center of our own universe. We are forgiven for all the times we have relegated God to being simply a small satellite that only enters our orbit occasionally. The God who created and fills the vastness of space does not treat us as we deserve. He loves us. He forgives us. He gives us heaven. Remember your place in God’s universe. Remember who you are and what He has done for you. Don’t make Him simply a satellite that enters the orbit of your life every so often. Don’t relegate Him to being just a part of your life. He is your whole life. Everything you have and everything you are is because of Him.
Again, “It’s not about you.” Trust in the Lord, obey Him, and get your motivation from Him. Thank you.
I am a 47 year old disabled United States Navy veteran that is attempting to ride my recumbent trike around the borders of the United States (12,000) to raise awareness for veterans that are suffering from the effects of PTSD and to raise $25,000 for Christian Warriors Retreat Center.
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