I cried today. I had just spent the week with my mother which we filled with loads of exciting tourist traps, relaxing movie watching, museums and several meetings with churches and other organizations.
I dropped my mom off at the Atlanta, GA airport and I was taking the Ford f150 that we had rented back to its humble-abode; the car rental. When out of nowhere my eyes burst open like a fire hose putting out a burning building. I still have no idea why women want men to cry because there was nothing glamorous or humbling about this situation at all. But I couldn’t stop. In fact I missed my turn for the drop off and was led back onto the interstate. The straw that broke the floodgates to my eyes was the song on the radio, “Even So Come” by Passion. For some reason those words hit me so hard. “Like a bride waiting for her groom, we’ll be a church ready for you.” It was a slight reminder of being alone, but yet at the same time a sense of hope because I am “getting ready.”
This was my day, and the way I let God be 100% in control.
When I was coming back around on the interstate I had been contemplating taking the truck and heading back home to Colorado. My emotions were so overbearn that I didn’t think that I could keep on going in this 15 month excursion. I had officially hit a wall of psychological strain. At this point, I hadn’t even hit the half way point as far as time is concerned. Fundraising and church speaking were not at all close to what I had thought prior to this trip. I haven’t been finding places to sleep/ the person who was helping me needed to focus on her 2 jobs and 3 children back home, understandable. This left me officially completely alone. I had felt as if I had failed, and looking forward just seemed to daunting. So, going back home wasn’t looking so bad.
By the time I had gotten all these thoughts together I was coming back around to drop off the truck. Contemplating if I keep going and miss the turn again, or do I drop off the truck and continue biking? God had different plans. Usually for me God gives subtle signs to point me in the right direction, but not in this case. My front tire to the truck had completely deflated giving me just enough momentum to turn and roll in front of the car rental place. Now if that isn’t God yelling “IM NOT DONE WITH YOU YET!” than I don’t know what is. I was sitting in the truck out front the car rental with a flat tire, and balling my eyes out. A lady approached the window not knowing what was going on trying to get me to move because I had stopped it right at the drive-way. All I could do was point to the tire. I got my bike out of the back after checking in, and road off.
I had decided to continue biking, but at least 3 more times I broke out sobbing. Now that I think back to it, it must have been quite a hilarious sight. This grown man on a loaded down bicycle rolling over hills, and through small towns, who is balling his eyes out making all sorts of weird whimpering sounds. Ladies, you might not find this funny but men you will.
Durning the ride I was in such a weird state of mind that when normally a car passes by and honks I am able to blow it off, but this time was different. I was in the turning lane to go left and out of no where this behemoth behind me decides to honk their horn because I wasn’t going fast enough. Like I said, usually I ignore it, but this time I swung around and gave this car a piece of my mind as I held up my extended digit. I was furious, yelling at them as they proceeded to go around me.
As I was riding I kept thinking about all the things that I would say to them if I saw them again knowing that I wouldn’t because I was on a much slower vehicle. But once again, God had different plans. About 3 miles down the road I see them stopped at a gas station. Oh boy…. In that moment I heard God say, “Go apologize.” Say what!?! No way. But He insisted, so I was moved to put my pride aside and approach the vehicle. As I was getting nearer I could see the man standing next to his car with his chest puffed out ready to defend. His lady was in the car with the window rolled up and probably had her hand on the lock not knowing my intentions. As soon as I got there all I could say was, “I wanted to apologize.” And no sooner had I made that claim that I once again had the flood gate to my eyes open.
What the heck is happening to me I thought. Here I am, a grown man, balling in front of these two strangers, while others around us watch, because I gave them a piece of my mind. In reality, God was teaching me true humility. The gentleman deflated his chest, and the lady rolled her window down to listen to my story that I told through broken snot filled words. The best part was in the end God got the glory.
Eventually I come to find out that what was really eating me alive. It was the fact that I was in this completely alone, or at least from a physical stand point. I left a voice muffled tear filled message on my buddies answering machine and the only audible thing was, “I am so alone.” Or at least this is what the enemy wanted me to believe. It is hard to explain the feeling of being alone in this case because you might ask how can I feel alone if I am constantly with people, engaging and influencing their lives, and speaking at different places? It is alone in the sense that there is no consistency with people in my life. Meaning, every single day is brand new people, cities, houses, food, literally everything is constantly changing. A person will feel alone when they don’t have that reoccurring fellowship. The people who I meet one day have no idea what my struggles are the day before or what I am really going through. I don’t have someone who is with me to experience the day to day with me. Even the people I call back home to keep me accountable don’t know what it is truly like on the road.
Once I arrive to my designated town I approach the police station asking if I could camp out on their property. They advised me to go ask some other local companies. I was hungry so instead I went to the local Toco Bell. Normally I just waltz right in as if I own the place, but for some reason I couldn’t make myself go in. Maybe it was because I could see on the other side of the building through the glass windows was a Chick-fil-a. Or cause God wanted me to wait an extra 22 minutes contemplating which fast food I would let warm my sulking heart today. I had even walked into the Toco Bell assured that it was the right choice. But walked right out because I knew I wasn’t supposed to eat there. I had walked to the Fil-a, set my bike up, locked it, and marched into the battle zone. While I was ordering my number 7 with extra chick-fil-a sauce a lady in line asks me about my bike tour. I gave her a mild short response cause I was still in a tizzy.
As I was sitting down I felt bad for not engaging as deeply as I normally do so I invited her to sit with me. I also saw that she was by herself as well. We had a marvelous talk about education and how we could go about educating our youth about human trafficking. It had came up previously that I didn’t have a place to stay for the night so she offered for me to stay in her sons room instead of camping out. Blessing number two of the day.
Now blessing number three. Her son worked at a fire department in Auburn AL which was my next stop. She had set it up so that I could stay at the fire department the next night. When I arrived at the station the next day the gentleman were extremely helpful. They offered me to use there shower and even extended the offer for me to sleep on one of there open beds. After eating a bacon wrapped, cream cheese stuffed, deer tenderloin with the men, they offered for me to join them in some ride alongs! How could anyone turn that down? I signed the paperwork allowing me to join them, and all throughout the night I got to ride with them to their emergency calls. I had completely forgotten about why I was upset in the first place.
Now the grand finale. After an eventful evening of helping drug overdosed college kids, putting out small fires, and tending to seizing babies it was time for all the men to have their morning church service. This department was really neat because every Sunday morning all the local departments come together for a short bible study. The Chief and Pastor asked if I would speak to these men (and one lady). I was ecstatic, and jumped at the opportunity.
I love it when you let God take 100% of the reigns, and I really do mean 100% because if you are even holding onto just 1% it wont turn out nearly as cool. Many times we need to just let God break us down so He can build us up how He wants us to be. I always like to think of this image as a young child building up Lego’s. The child may build something really cool using all sorts of different pieces from many different sets, but it will never actually be a completed work. It is being used as something that it wasn’t initially intended for. God knows our intended purpose, and has created us for a unique plan, but we are always trying to put different pieces together. If we let Christ break us down taking all the unintended pieces and let Him fully build us up, that is when the truly amazing things happen.