Day 68: 23.1 miles/1:23
“Ash Wednesday is a day of repentance and it marks the beginning of Lent.”
While not everyone will be partaking in the Lent Season, many of us are well aware of the traditional associated with giving something up for the next 40 days. Fat Tuesday (yesterday) was the last day to gorge oneself before beginning the fast associated with Lent which started with Ash Wednesday (today). I have had many friends take this time as a moment of inspirational challenge to give up smoking, chocolate, sex (what were they thinking?), pizza, etc. While Lent, like New Year’s, can be a great place to make a commitment to make a sacrifice or a change – you really do not need a special day to change your life. However, making a thirty day commitment to anything can be a significant and life changing accomplishment.
I have always enjoyed listening to the various sacrifices people make this time of year. I always thought they were centered on the sacrifice itself. When I looked up Lent on Wikipedia, I was astonished to see these commitments are actually associated with the spirit of repentance. Repentance is a much deeper motivation. Sacrifice reflects denial of something that we desire and enjoy. Being repentant is more about humility, accountability, and responsibility. Making a commitment as a reflection of repentance shows the willingness to deny oneself something in reflection of their accountability for being selfish or overindulgent in the past.
One thing I have discovered about 100 Pedals is that the rides themselves are not really where the magic, excitement, or inspiration is garnered. It is the action of being committed and the clarity these rides provide for me and for others when I share that makes 100 Pedals special. Similar to Lent, I am not simply riding my bicycle 100 days in a row (sacrifice), I am discovering the power and the energy associated with the thoughts that come of the journey (reflection and repentance). There is a much deeper and more powerful resource from the 100 Pedals journey than simply the rides—which are an enjoyable accomplishment. Rather, it is what I get from the rides that make them all the more exciting.
Each of us has a tremendous opportunity to make a commitment to making a difference in our world. It doesn’t need to be ceremonial in association with Lent or New Year’s or as tangible as 100 Pedals. Rather, we have an opportunity to make a difference simply by making a commitment to be less self-indulgent in the way we live our lives. Our opportunity is to be present with our gifts and talents for others so that everyone has open access to the gifts, skills, and talents that have been given to us. We are living in a human community that needs everything we have to offer to make a difference. Your gifts need to be shared. In this season of repentance and reflection, I encourage you to make your gifts and your love known so that we can all celebrate something together. Share, give, love and enjoy.