Sunday, September 28, 2008

COMPLETED!

And it’s done! Yesterday I completed the ride, biking 52 miles to Des Moines. The weather was warm and full of the fall. Fittingly, there was a final set of challenges. There was a moderate afternoon wind from the west. I biked on Hwy 163 to Monroe, with busy traffic and no paved shoulder. Then I discovered there are many hills west of Monroe through Runnels. Finally, I took a wrong turn into Runnels and another in south east Des Moines.

Today seemed so familiar. The biking felt routine. I can't say I felt jubilant or exuberant, yet today was a celebration and a deep profound feeling of joy. With great satisfaction, I spent time reviewing the tour and all the events that have occurred. And it was as though the angels appeared one last time. They seemed to be present for the time it took too climb one hill. It was as though they were on fire or made of burnished bronze. I questioned the significance of the visage and received no answer.

I biked 3,873 miles over 49 days averaging 79 miles a day.
I have feelings of accomplishment, satisfaction, completion and joy. I truly have a renewed spirit. I have learned and grown. Have I changed in any fundamental way? I don’t think so, but I have been enriched by the experience and deepened as a person. I had wanted to do this right after college, but instead I happily married. I’m very glad I needed to wait as I shared the experience with Mary. And now that I’m older the experience has been richer. I’ll write more about that some time later.

Having had the opportunity for the ride has been a privilege. Physically, I started in good health. Then my broken bones healed in such a way that they didn’t cause pain and didn’t preclude completing it. Vocationally, I had the full support of Pine Rest leadership and all the Iowa staff, and was able to take the days needed. Finally, I had the full support of my wife, children, family and friends.

I have truly been blessed.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31

4 comments:

UP said...
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Cal Meuzelaar said...
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Merlyn said...

Congratulations, Cal and Mary!

Well done.

--- Merlyn

Jeff Meuzelaar said...

this is going to make for a good speech in my class!