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The Ride
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By Jared Anderson

Photo: Jared Anderson
As we pushed forward we noticed to our right a magnificent sight. Three lean horses were galloping along side of us. “Left side!” someone shouted. As we all forced our eyes away from the "horse parade" on our right side we noticed yet another sight to behold. Down the green hillside in the valley below there was another small group of horses running with us as well! With renewed energy we spun our pedals harder and let the muscles in our legs burn all the more as these horses cheered us on from both sides.  

A challenging 50 miles of road lay before us and 10 miles were already to our backs. We were headed up the mountain pass on one of the hardest bike rides in our neck of the woods — up the steep corners of the switchbacks, around the bends, views of the valley below, and always going up, up, up. The group of bikers I was riding with started to spread out a little more as the climb up the hill continued to tax their strength and allow the stronger and lighter riders to move ahead.

Out of breath, legs burning, and hardly able to get enough air in my lungs to grab a drink of water I thought to myself, “Why is this so hard? Why am I even out here riding a bike up this mountain?” I knew I was drawn to the challenge of this sport and this route in particular but could not explain its attraction. The answer would come a couple weeks later.

As I sat on a steep hillside overlooking the Grande Ronde River I lifted pen to paper. “What do I fear in life?” was the question in my mind. I proceeded to draw a picture coming to mind — a few hills, trees, and a windy road weaving its way up the hills. I drew myself on a bike on one of the hill ridges. Suddenly it all made sense.

Though I had, and still have, some fear for the future; for how difficult a lifetime of following Jesus might be or where it might lead, I realized I wouldn't want it any other way. I knew that just as I relish the challenge of riding my bike and feeling a sense of accomplishment when I conquer a long climb, I knew that my life in Christ would be similar with its challenges and steep hillsides. And I knew that at the end I will look back and realize what a feat I have conquered through Christ and his leading. I will sense indescribable accomplishment and contentment knowing that there is joy, reward, and purpose in life's challenging climb.
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Jared Anderson writes from Hayden, Idaho. All rights reserved © 2012 StoryHarvest.org. Click here for content usage information.