Allow me to begin by saying I have never been more honored to be associated with a certain group of people as I have been this past week. The glory of God radiated day in and day out through these amazing men and women who pushed themselves to the brink of their own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual existences.
This story begins in Indiana and finishes in Ohio. These states were surprisingly beautiful, filled shockingly full with God’s handiwork and the perfect backdrop for an incredible demonstration of the Lord’s sustenance and compassion. The riding shift began around 11 pm somewhere in Ohio with the Red Team. We got off to a rocky start. About a mile in, the wonderful Lloyd Peckham hit a groove in the road and got a flat. We recovered and moved on and upon completing his section was relieved by a Mr. Benjamin Bennett. The rockiness continued seeing as how the brakes on Ben’s bike were engaged as he began a steep ascent. He pedaled with extreme difficulty for about half a mile before stopping from pure exhaustion. The guy made it about half a mile more than I would have, I can tell you that right now. I was driving the follow vehicle (or chase vehicle) and when he got off his bike and turned to look at me it was obvious that he was spent. This young man had exerted more physical energy in the past 5 days than most do in 5 weeks, and perhaps even more in those last 5 minutes than most do in 5 hours. Every bit of him was feeling it at that moment. He climbed into the “chase” and crashed in the backseat. The Red Team pressed on, with one man down but certainly not out, and fought for the goal that they refused to believe wasn’t theirs.
The unique thing about Team Life Changers is that we are not only vessels God has chosen to use to change lives but we are a team of lives changed and it’s obvious. Seeing Erick, Lloyd, and Ross graciously allow Ben his much needed rest by robbing themselves of theirs was amazing. They didn’t miss a beat and they did it with joy, not reluctance or complaining. Lloyd Peckham said, “I’ve never seen Jesus ride a bike but when I see these men riding I’m certain that’s what it looks like.”
I saw Jesus riding a bike that night.
I’ve also seen Jesus cooking chicken and rice. I’ve seen Him doing the wave for a rider in the middle of nowhere and filming a roadside interview and driving an RV and pumping gas and searching for a phone charger and sleeping uncomfortably for only 3 hours at a time. I’ve read that He heals lepers. I’ve seen that He heals relationships. I’ve read that He calms storms. I’ve seen that He calms nerves. I’ve read that He loves strangers at wells, I’ve seen that He loves strangers at gas stations. Christ doesn’t only show up in the big things, no. Christ shows up in everything.
We are only life changers because our lives have been changed. This is a group of spiritually uninhibited people who, by the grace of God, accomplished a feat that anyone would be proud to have their name on. That feat is not the Race Across America (though that’s true, too). They have found their Savior and in their Savior they have found each other, a new family strengthened by the bonds of fellowship, hope, joy, and consideration. In this moment, I am proud to call them teammates, friends, and most of all, siblings in Christ.
So, Team Life Changers, thanks for changing my life.
Loving my new found family from the inside out,