For the past few months I have been training for the Century ride – a 100 mile bike ride from Babylon to Montauk. I joined the Suffolk Bike Riders Association and was part of Bob Goykin’s group. Bob and Josie have been members of COS for well over 25 yrs and have been training riders for 30+ years. They are knowledgeable, well-skilled, and compassionate people who have seen lives empowered and changed by training and completing this marathon event. In addition to their steadfast encouragement to the group of 25+ cyclists, a couple of riders from COS, Eian and Mario had completed the Century ride with success. Why not me? At 61, why not now?
After the initial 25 mile ride, I thought I would pass out from the physical stress. 10 weeks later, I had endured the 80 mile ride and did a 50 mile training with Bob this past week. On Saturday, the rider was ready. The bike was not. Somewhere in Bluepoint, the bracket holding my seat broke. Within seconds, I fell and blacked out. The next thing I remember was being questioned in the ambulance. Later on, a CT scan and xrays revealed no internal injuries or broken bones. PTL! I was left with back and shoulder pain, road rash on several parts of my body, and emotional bruising that came in the form of deep disappointment.
I didn’t ask God why. Thinking about the fall I came up with three possible explanations:
- God caused it, because he wanted to teach me a lesson, strengthen my character etc. This was a test of my faith. e. Would Nicholas trust me after the accident.? (I did and do) Or Cycling had become an idol in his life and it needed to be taken down. (Seriously? I have searched my heart –I do not believe that God sent some angels to take me down, to inflict pain, etc. ) Of course God allowed it. God allows lots of things to happen in this world. God is also merciful. The important question for me was: how will I respond to what has happened?
- Satan is responsible for my fall. After all, his m/o is to kill, steal and to destroy. In Job’s case, God allowed Satan to torture him to see if he would curse God. After coming out of my stupor, I started singing – Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips…and I know thqt You see everything, Your love is stronger than my pain. If that was Satan’s goal, he failed. I was teary when I saw Joy and Kirsten. They wanted me to succeed. I let them down. But I do not believe I was taken down by the devil or one of his minions.
- My fall was a result of living in a fallen world. Bad things, even tragic things happen to both righteous and unrighteous people because we live in a world that is permeated by the effects of sin. Metals snap, bodies become infected with disease, accidents happen. We fall because of the Fall; which was inaugurated when Adam and Eve decided to live independently from God. As a result God pronounced a curse on them and a curse on the tempter as well. Sin was released into the world to wreak havoc. People will argue that Christ redeemed us from the curse and that bad things should not happen to God’s people. But Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, which refers specifically to our salvation.
Yes, Jesus bore our sin and sickness on the Cross. Healing is provided by the atonement. By his stripes we were healed. (I Peter 2:24) However this does not mean that followers of Christ will not go through hardship. As David said in Psalm 37:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of them all. Jesus put it this way: John 16:33 In this world, you will have trouble… but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
I do not believe God orchestrated my fall, though he allowed it. The devil did not have his way – though he likes to do things like this. I fell because I live in a fallen world. In light of what happened, I choose to place my trust in the God who at that moment – gave His angels charge over me, to keep me. (Ps. 91:11)
I am so grateful for all your prayers. By God’s grace I will get back on the bike. I really enjoy this form of exercise and love riding with a group. I am looking forward to the Century ride in 2019 – care to join me?
Riding to finish,