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Keep Pedaling - Moving Forward on Your Life's Adventure

Has life thrown a curve ball your way and you just weren't sure how to respond? In November of 2002, I had a curve ball thrown on the volleyball court at the church I was serving at the time. What was a routine spike over the net resulted in a broken right ankle with a plate and screws attached to the bone, that to this day are still in my leg to remind me of that fateful night.

I had never been laid up like that before. My life was always on the go and never slowing down to smell the roses along the way. I didn't know how to handle sleeping in a chair with my leg propped up and waiting three months before I could even put weight on it. Life was a bummer and I was throwing myself the biggest pity party a person could throw.

It was during my rehab that my wife suggested I do something with my life and stop moping around feeling sorry for myself. With the suggestion of my doctor, we decided take up a sport that I had never done before - cycling. I had played all other types of sports from basketball to golf, baseball to cross country, but never cycling.

That Christmas we purchased our first bikes on eBay and began a journey that I will never forget. Imagine yourself making the journey through unknown territories and in the end, celebrating your life and accomplishments.

The bikes we purchased for Christmas arrived and we were excited to put them together and start on this journey. The problem was that winter in Nebraska is really not the best time of the year to be thinking about riding outdoors. Another question that was raised, "what are we riding for?" Just for Tim to continue to rehab his broken ankle? I needed a purpose.

That is a trait that I have always had in my life. If I am going to do something, there must be a purpose behind it. So as my wife Susan and I started to do the research for possible ideas for just exactly why we bought these bikes, various cycling tours caught our eye but we finally chose one - Bike Ride for the Family organized by Focus on the Family, a Christian organization out of Colorado Springs, CO. They chose various sites throughout the country and were trying to cover as many states during that summer as possible.

As we looked over the various areas they were going to be riding that summer, the one that caught our eye the most was from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA. There were several reasons we decided on this one. o We had family living up there at the time and thought this would be a great way to accomplish two things with our summer. o We had only been up there one other time and though we had seen some of the sights, we knew that this would show us that part of the country that we had not seen before. o We were riding for a cause. Focus on the Family had put this ride together to help their ministry in reaching families around the world and this was our opportunity to be a part of it. Susan and I were going to have to raise $1500 each to take part in the ride.

As I look back now, we chose this ride because it had a purpose for us but even more importantly, it was for an organization that had a purpose beyond us. All we had to do is get on the bike and ride.

One of the definitions for purpose is "the quality of being determined to do or achieve something." I like this definition because it uses the words, "being determined." I believe if a person really wants to find purpose and direction for their life, they must be determined to do whatever it takes for that to happen.

So what do you need to do to be more determined in your life? Here are a couple things to get the wheels turning.

1. Make a move! I have come across many different people over the years that had never gotten on the bike and went for a ride. They were stuck in the chair with their leg propped up feeling sorry for themselves because they didn't feel they had purpose in their life.

Each and every day people get out of bed, get themselves ready for work and have the same attitude, "why do I do what I do?" Or they ask the question "what did I get out of bed for, really?" It is human nature to go through the routines in life and just exist, but I believe you were created to do so much more than that.

Sometimes it is hard to mentally make a move from the thought of going through the routine to exploring what the possibilities are for you life. It's safer to stay with what you know than to go on an adventure that many times you don't control. What do you want in life? Would you be happy if nothing ever changed in your life?

2. Realize you were created for a purpose. I truly believe people have a purpose in life and what they need to do is find it! I know it sounds easy or something we should all have right at our finger tips, but it does require some time to look inward and ask, "What am I passionate about?" "What makes me smile?" "How can I make a difference?"

When a person really takes a hard look at whom they are and why God created them, you have to realize your purpose for living is not for yourself, but for others.

My wife has told me early on in our marriage that I cannot purchase her a gift for any occasion: Birthday, Christmas, and Valentine's Day, none of them. What that taught me is to give gifts I have thought of and put effort into. It pulled me way out of my type 'A' box I have lived in but it has also brought purpose to our relationship.

So on our ten year anniversary; I had ten different people show up at the door at the top of each hour to give her a note or small item. For her birthday one year, I sent her to her girlfriend's house to scrapbook for the weekend and did an office makeover for her that included power tools, not my element at all. I have had to continue to work on being creative in our relationship so that it would continue to grow in purpose.

So what is your purpose? I know that is a loaded question but one I believe everyone should ask themselves. If you are having trouble figuring that out, find a reason to give purpose to someone else. It is just like getting on a bike and feels great to do!

Chalk Talk 1. What am I passionate about in life and what am I doing about that to increase my desire for purpose in life?

2. What fear or circumstance has me stuck in the chair and afraid of going for a ride?

3. What is one thing you can do this week for someone else that would brighten their lives and help give you a sense of purpose in doing so? Be specific and write out your plan.

4. Write down one thing this week you are determined to accomplish and how that will affect finding purpose in your life.