There are many of us who thirst for challenge. We love pursuing things that stimulate ever facet of our senses; the rush of hurdling into the unknown, the reward of overcoming self-doubt, and the renewed enthusiasm that comes from doing something that stretches us to be our best. In a day in age that’s characterized by hustle and bustle (some meaningful, some not so much), the sheer rawness of pushing ourselves towards a truly life-altering pursuit is all but a lost art. Personal renaissance, in its most authentic form, frankly is hard to come by.
When I decided (and I don’t mean decide and then waver on it for weeks or months) that I was going to ride a skateboard across Indiana for charity, I knew that challenge loomed in the distance. I couldn’t have been more excited about it either. However, “deciding” can be a deceptive term. Many people “decide” to do something, but after running through the gauntlet we like to call “life’s distractions” that decision becomes a thing of the past. Sticking with a decision and facing the challenge that lies further down the road is hard work. I’ve been reminded of that time and time again over these last few weeks as I’ve worked to prepare for my ride and raise donations through it.
Though this up-and-down regime full of grueling preparatory workouts and uplifting fundraising conversations have consumed a lot of my energy, I’m reminded of the question posed by King David in Psalm 121. “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?” he writes. This skateboard ride is my mountain, one that promises an exciting view at its peak but a brutal climb that lies ahead. Fortunately, David also answered his question: “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” So while I may struggle with the uncertainty of turning my decision into a challenge completed, I know where to look for strength.
Interestingly, however, being conscious of where to properly direct my focus when help is needed, hasn’t been so clear cut. But that’s what happens when you do something life-altering. Everything that seemed to work in the past needs to be reworked, you need a rebirth, a renaissance if you will, to discover the formula to conquering new challenges. That’s not to say that my view of the Lord’s role in helping me overcome challenges will one day be replaced. Rebirth is not the same thing as replacement. My view has been sharpened and focused so that I can accomplish more.
I have no doubt that the time leading up to Skate Across Indiana will be challenging, but I also know that there is a peak within reach that I couldn’t be more excited for. I’m not sure how every detail of that “climb” will pan out, but in the midst of this uncertainty, I know where my help comes from.