Today, I completed my first “significant” cycling of this Celtic adventure: a ride of about 53 miles from Kildare to Clonmacnoise. I had hoped to share several pictures with you of sights along the way. However, three things got in the way:
- First, most of the roads that I travelled were lined on both sides by thick hedges. As a result, views of the countryside were a bit more limited than I had anticipated.
- Second, when I did get to see the countryside…it’s countryside! Don’t get me wrong; it’s quite beautiful—lush and green with the occasional flock of sheep or herd of cows. But still, most of the vistas weren’t that different from what you’d see in the fields around my home in Mount Airy. So I didn’t feel a need to take too many photos.
- Finally—and to be honest, this is the probably the biggest reason—my “task-oriented” nature compelled me to ride by some interesting sights, because I was more focused on completing the journey than enjoying the ride. Of course, to be fair, since this was my first leg of cycling I was a bit uncertain about how much “extra time” I’d have. And yet, this touches upon one of the things I think I need to learn from this sabbatical. So I formulated a “sabbatical lesson,” which I’ll share with you in a moment.
Before I get to that, however, I will confess that today’s ride—while manageable—was a bit tougher than I had anticipated. I’ve done rides that were twice as long, and at the 50 mile point I’ve still been “rarin’ to go.” But a couple factors made this effort unexpectedly draining. For one thing, there was the wind. Naturally, I knew there’d be wind here in Ireland…but sheesh! Rarely in my hometown have I encountered resistance this strong and this constant. In addition, I was surprised by how much more effort was required to propel both me and the gear that I’m carrying with me. Again, I knew this would require some additional work, but I was surprised by how much.
And so, when you put all of this together, here are the “sabbatical lessons” that the Lord began to teach me on cycling day one:
Jesus said, “The wind blows wherever it pleases.”
Some days, it blows against you.
So stop whining and keep pedaling.
God made downhills for a reason.
So, what’s your hurry?
Sit back and coast a while.
And most important of all:
The goal isn’t just to get to the place that I’m going.
The goal is to be in the place that I am.
The place that I’m staying here in Clonmacnoise has somewhat spotty Wi-Fi. So I might have to wait for my next stop before I’m able to share some photos with you. It also is about 2 miles away from the nearest restaurant. So I might have to add a few unexpected (but blessedly short) cycling trips to my itinerary to get something to eat. So pray that God will grant me strength…and that the wind will be blowing in a more helpful direction!