February 17, 2017
My journey on and off the bike has taken me through many highs and lows in life.
I have always enjoyed cycling, even from my youth, when every trip on the bike was an adventure as I explored my world on two wheels.
A crossroads occurred for me when I was living what would be considered the American Dream. Working for a Fortune 50 company in a promising career with everything that lifestyle afforded, many would assess that I had arrived. The reality, however, was that the pressures of successfully managing a family, marriage, and career were overwhelming at times, leaving me empty and unfulfilled.
As I chased the things I thought would bring me happiness, I found the journey had taken me down roads I never expected. I struggled increasingly with depression, so much so, that my battle with despair would make “hitting the wall” on the bike seem trifling by comparison. Contemplating my end, this journey, as it were, seemed to be headed for certain disaster.
At my lowest point — on the brink of losing all that I loved and on the precipice — I was settled in my decision to put a permanent end to the pain. God, however, who sees the end from the beginning, saw my desperate situation much differently, that this was not going to be the end of my story.
With no time to spare, God moved a family friend to counsel me. My friend boldly urged me to take the difficult road of owning responsibility for my attitudes and actions that night and to turn my life over to God. In my heart, God’s Spirit spoke to me that this was exactly what I needed to do! Later, admitting my failures before God, I gave Him the broken pieces of my life and found freedom from the crushing weight of despair that was threatening to destroy me. As I opened God’s Word, I also found new purpose and hope, as I read these words:
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Instead of chasing the empty promises of pursuing the American Dream, I discovered that night what it means to truly live with purpose, purpose beyond the scope and reach of this mortal life, a life lived pursuing the One who first pursued and gave himself for me!
Now, as I write this 10 years later, I can see the evidence of God’s work in my life since that turning point: transforming my despair into joyful purpose, bringing freedom from debilitating depression and anxiety, giving protection and provision during the darkest of days, and blessing me beyond anything I could have imagined 10 years ago, when I almost threw it all away!
On the bike, I am a member of the Finish Strong Endurance Team as an A-level amateur cyclist and enjoy riding solo, with groups, or training for the next step in my cycling journey. Off the bike, I am a married father of four, living in Boiling Springs, SC. I lead a men’s study group weekly with my church, The Journey, which is situated strategically in the “Block of Hope” near downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina.
In this season of my life, whether on or off the bike, God has placed a desire in me to share with others His faithfulness in all His ways toward me, and how He desires to do the same for anyone else, no matter who they are or where their journey has taken them. It is my sincere belief and hope that, through Christ, we can all have our journeys FINISH STRONG!