Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)
- TITLE: Mountain Biking with Jesus
By Sheri Gordon
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When the storm appeared to be moving in the opposite direction of our destination, we decided to make a run for shelter at the trailhead kiosk. As we were flying down the mountain, trying to stay undercover while avoiding low hanging tree branches, the ferocious thunderstorm pulled a sharp u-turn and headed right back over the top of us. At that point, we had no choice but to continue on to the kiosk. To reach our safe haven, we had to cross abandoned railroad tracks, negotiate a forest service barbed wire fence, and cross a now-deserted road. We felt like moving targets dodging determined lightning bolts.
Having successfully navigated the railroad tracks and barbed wire, we went racing across the open road. I was pedaling faster than was humanly possible, but the trailhead kiosk, and presumed safety, didn’t seem to be getting any closer. Keeping my eye on the elusive goal, I suddenly had this ghastly picture of a giant demon hovering above, shooting lightning bolts at us from the tips of his pointy, grotesque fingers.
I was leading the charge, and was afraid to look back to check on my husband and son. I knew that if I fell, they would both stop, and we would be vulnerable not only to the deadly lightning bolts, but to any errant cars daring to traverse this mountain road in the torrential downpour. “Oh God, where are Brad and Travis?” The constant pounding of the driving rain, the gut-wrenching CRACK! of the lightning, and the riotous explosion of thunder made it almost impossible to hear even my own thoughts.
Just keep pedaling -- I’ll take care of everything else.
“Please don’t let me get hit by lightning -- don’t let my husband and son see me die this way.”
Have you forgotten, my child? I Am! Trust Me.
I had never seen lightning strike a road. I had never experienced my hair standing on end and feeling electricity surge through me. I had never smelled the earth burning from the excruciating pain of an electrical shock of over 100 million volts. Within my 50 yard sprint to safety, I experienced it all.
As the kiosk drew near, and the goal of reaching safety finally appeared attainable, we dismounted from our moving bikes, and dove under the kiosk. Huddled together in a ball, drenched from unrelenting rain and tears, shaking from cold and terror, we bowed our heads together to thank God for bringing us safely to shelter from the storm.
Then we realized our ‘safe’ kiosk was covered with a metal roof. “No God! Why?” I Am.
In that moment, we saw lightning strike where mere seconds earlier we had passed through, racing for our very lives. Tin roof or not, God had brought us to this place, and we had to trust Him.
As I watched the lightning continue its ruthless assault, and held my ears tight to ward off as many thunderous decibels as my numb fingers could contain, the scene miraculously changed. I felt Jesus huddled there with us. God’s grace and love enveloped my entire being.
We were safe. I didn’t know when the storm would subside, or how we were going to get back to the condo, but I knew we weren’t going to die. Lightning bolts that earlier had been hurled at my family and me by the devil himself, were instead an affirmation of Our Creator’s sheer awesomeness and mighty power. God’s voice and glory exploded triumphantly with each clash of thunder, as if He were audibly declaring I Am!
As the storm raged on, the horrific, deafening sounds turned to worshipful, melodious praise:
I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,
How Great Thou Art!
Lyrics taken from How Great Thou Art, originally written in Swedish by Carl Gustov Boberg in 1885, and translated to English by Stuart K. Hine in 1899.
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