Sunday, April 11, 2010

TransIowa V6 - The Withdrawal

Wow - I would have in a million years ever imagined me typing those words as a subject line. I found out about TransIowa 4 years ago and have been enamored with it ever since. I signed up for V4 only to back out due to a strong dream in which I specifically felt God telling me to scrap the plans. The race lasted 30 out of 320 miles due to rain/flooding.

I made it halfway last year in V5 and had that as inspiration/motivation/bulletin board information for the past 50 weeks. I used it every time I hurt on the bike, every time I questioned if I should be riding, every time I wanted to stay home during 10 degree weather instead of training outside. Maybe that is where the problem lies - I used it instead of asking God to show me if what I was pursuing was a worth enough cause and if it brought Him the Glory He deserves or if it was selfish and reckless ambition for my personal gain!

Last night as I prepared for Phase 2 of my final Saturday TransIowa ride our power goes off at 5:30pm. I was set to leave at 6:00pm. What is a man of faith supposed to do? Does he just leave his family at home without power for a ride or does he try and figure things out. We call the electric company and they say no later than 8:00pm. I ride down the road and see the crew working already and they say should be 7:30pm at the latest. I settle in for my ride at 6:30pm with dinner plans with the family at a local pizzeria as soon as my daughters friend shows up.

We have dinner, have a great time laughing and chatting, and we say our goodbyes. I look at my wife and tell her something doesn't feel right and I don't see this ride lasting all night long but I am going to take it as it comes and I set off. I get about 30-40 minutes away from the pizzeria and go for a drink of water and my bottle is not there. I left it in the restroom as I prepared to head out - one last bladder emptying. I call home and ask her to tell the pizzeria I will be back for it, turn around, and start heading back.

It is approximately 9:00pm and I am riding on Taylor Road in Hamburg, NY. I look up at the night sky for the first time since I headed out and see the stars and the night time glory and I feel this deep sense of satisfaction. It is going to be a great night for a ride!

Then it happens, all of a sudden I have this inner voice calling out to me as clear as the night sky was - Bill don't do TransIowa - it will be fine!

I slow down to a coast basically and say I want to! No reply. I want to! No reply. I have been riding for 50+ (and many more) weeks training for this and I want to! I know I can do it this year! Please Lord let me have the chance! Nothing. Me and the night!

I become totally at peace and say the following to the nighttime audience - God I am good with not doing TransIowa if it be Your will. My life is yours and I submit to you. I am not going to ask you show me again not to do it. All I ask is that if I should do it that you show me as clear as you showed this by Monday morning when I get into work to send the RD my withdrawal e-mail.

I get my water bottle, head up the hill to my house, call it a night, and tell my kids what is happening. They ask why? The greatest response possible comes to mind - Because I listen to God!

For those that have offered encouragement and peace to me since last year - I am so thankful. I have such a great peace right now that it is hard to explain. I am good. Will TransIowa happen again in the future? Only the RD and God know for sure! I am good with that.

I refuse to go through life searching for fullness or peace in a race. And that is what I was after! That is why it is not meant to be! Where does this take me? I have no idea - but I know this I am going to go ride my bike because I love to ride my bike - not because I have to train for TransIowa!!!

I have 2 choices - to listen and obey or to ignore. Your Will be done, not mine Lord.

1 comment:

Patrick Mahoney said...

Asked with the only the deepest respect in your faith. Are you sure you heard Him right? That doesn't sound like anybody's God.

Regardless, upwards on onwards...