Yesterday my bike arrived home from the Present Hope tour.
This morning I unpacked my bike. As I began to put her back together, I carefully cleaned away the dirt and grime of the last 800 miles. This cleaning, however came with mixed feelings. It seemed wrong to remove the last physical traces of the what was one of the most significant events of my adult life.
Yes I was very excited to ride the tour, spending weeks planning, preparing and anticipating the longest bike ride I have ever done. What I couldn’t know was what God had in store for me. A busy CEO with a wife and four children doesn’t often have a chance to turn off the noise of this world to be fully present with a few (new) friends and listen to the master’s voice for two weeks.
A team of 13 bicyclists recently completed a 766-mile tour across the southeastern United States to raise money for churches and families devastated earlier this year by tornadoes in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Joplin, Mo.
On April 27, 173 tornadoes ripped through the southeast U.S. on one of the deadliest tornado days in history, killing 195 and injuring hundreds more. Tuscaloosa was one of the hardest-hit areas, where an F4 tornado with winds up to 200 miles per hour killed 32, destroyed the city’s public works infrastructure and left a path of destruction nearly 200 miles long.
On May 22, Joplin was virtually leveled by a similar, mile-wide F5 tornado that killed 162 and injured nearly 1,000 – the seventh deadliest single tornado in U.S. history.
Read more at Crosswalk.com
Ben Skoda lives in Chicago. In the summer of 2010, Ben rode his bicycle from Seattle to New York with Venture Expeditions to raise funds and awareness for modern-day slavery. Ben just bike to the Catalyst East Conference from Joplin on the Present: Hope Tour. This article was recently published on Reject Apathy.
Life is full of little tornadoes. You may have already experienced one today. Every time that happens, in a seemingly insignificant way, your faith is on display.
Your reactions, visible or not, help build what becomes your spiritual posture. If you have allowed God to mold you into someone who finds strength and peace in Him through the little tornadoes, that will be your default posture through the big storms of life. However you respond, you are showing what you put your faith in.
An act of nature on May 22 has provided a platform for America to see the strong spiritual posture of the people of the city of Joplin, Mo.
A couple of months ago I committed to participating in an 800-mile bike ride to raise money and awareness to support the continuing relief efforts in Joplin. It’s called the Present: Hope Cycling Tour.
I thought we were going to be telling the story of how badly the people of Joplin needed to feel hope after the destruction of the tornado.
I was wrong.
Read more on Reject Apathy.