Have I mentioned that I love riding my bike? Well, I do! :-) I know it may sound silly, but I am just so glad that I have found a form of exercise that I enjoy doing. In college, I was really good about working out in a gym 3-5 days a week, but I can tell you- I DIDN'T enjoy it. But, biking-I enjoy.
As I was riding today it occurred to me that one reason that I like it so much is that it is not just a physical experience, but a spiritual one as well. I pray while I'm riding, and think....ALOT. Today I had my favorite praise music playing on my IPod as I rode, and let me tell you-there is nothing like riding through a beautiful treelined path beside ponds and ducks-just surrounded by God's amazing creation while "How Great is Our God" is playing in your ears.
"The splendor of a King
Clothed in Majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice..."
I was riding outside in the warm spring afternoon with goosebumps!
I love "where" I ride as well. I always ride from my house to Bear Creek Park, follow those paths to Keller-Smithfield Park and then back home again. Bear Creek Park has always been a favorite of mine. I love all the trees and the tranquil walking/biking paths. The other day I rode through there and saw a whole group of ducks up on the bank with their heads twisted on their backs taking a peaceful nap.
We took the kids there a lot when they were younger, so there are a lot of memories there, as well. Every time I pass by the giant sandbox, I remember when my boys would always want to play in it every time we visited. It always kind of grossed me out a little bit-wondering how many animals might have used it as a litter box, but I always let the boys dig, and bury, and build in that sand.
I love that along the way I ride over the place where my sweet Will once asked me to stop right then and say a prayer to thank God for all the wonderful things he created. I remember it every time I pass that spot.
I even love the steep inclines along the path that can be so hard to climb. I struggle, and sometimes think "I can't do it", but then I push on-refusing to give up, and I finally make it to the top. I love this too, because I know that after I make it to the top, there is a downhill on the other side where I can coast, and rest, and breathe...FREEDOM with the wind whipping through my hair! And the hard work and struggle was worth it. What a great metaphor for life!
I love the families I see along the way-enjoying the weather, the beauty, and each other. I see representations along the way of where I have been- in the moms jogging with their little ones in strollers, and where I am going- in the elderly couple walking hand in hand.
I thank God for this place and that I am healthy and able to enjoy it. I am thankful for the difference that being there is having on my body and my spirit. I love the time I can spend with the Lord while I am riding. You can't help but feel closer to Him surrounded by nature.
And I am thankful for your prayers, as well. Today is the first day in about 2 weeks that I have felt like myself again. I have felt strong and "normal" and like maybe I am over the worst of the adjustment period. Thank you for your prayers as I was working my way up that steep hill-wondering if I would make it. I think that maybe-I have reached the top and can now enjoy the downhill- to coast, rest, and breathe....FREEDOM with the wind whipping through my hair! :-)