When I downloaded my Garmin into the computer yesterday, the resulting graph revealed it to be the most physically intense ride of the entire trip. Day 1 had a score of 505 (equivalent to over five 40k time trial races) while yesterday had a score of 626. I didn’t believe it because I didn’t think the ride was that hard. I rechecked to make sure I had uploaded the correct ride. I had. And then this morning I woke up feeling exactly as I did on Day 2 of the ride – exhausted and nearly without hope.
As I ride through Kansas, there is evidence of the drought all around me. I didn’t know how bad it was until Bob talked with the owner of a local laundromat who has lived through the droughts of the 1950’s and the 1980’s. She said this is the worst. They are in their 3rd year of drought. More farmers are selling everything and moving away every year. Feed lots are going out of business. Merchants are abandoning their shops and homes are being boarded up. There is a sense of hopelessness. It’s like being in a hamster wheel with every day exactly like the day before. Hope is in short supply in Kansas just like it is for families across this nation and the world who are in poverty. They see no answers and no end to the misery.
I can relate because I felt that way myself this morning. I want out of the hamster wheel! I want a rest. I want to see a difference. And to think that I’m just on a bicycle ride. What must it be like for those whose entire lives have been in a hamster wheel? But we do have hope. We live by faith. We have been called to be the hands and feet of Jesus to bring hope to those who are in a drought. The funny thing about a drought is that we can’t make it rain. It is a circumstance we cannot control. But we can live by faith. We can help one another. Without my team at my side, I’m not sure I could make this ride on the schedule I have to keep. In fact, I know I couldn’t do it. We need one another. We are called to reach out to those suffering in drought conditions.