September 5, 2016

“I wanted to see what was special about this…”

Faces of Cycling for Recovery Week FiveSometimes I need to remember this is a special journey.  Some days the routine can be and is a little mundane until I am reminded there is nothing ordinary about this Cycling for Recovery mission.

It doesn’t happen every day, but it has occurred enough that as I begin to reflect on all impromptu conversations I have had during the first five weeks, it is apparent there is something special happening here.  Instead of rambling on about my personal experiences regarding these interactions, I am simply going to share a memorable quote from the ones that most readily come to mind.

“Changing your life begins with Jesus.”  – Robert, Winslow, AZ

“My brother is so different today than he was before he went in, I don’t even recognize him. It is amazing. Too bad he had to go to prison for this to happen.” – John, Holbrook, AZ

“I have been sober for fifteen years, still have my house, and kept my teaching certificate.  Thankfully, I didn’t screw up my life completely.” – Anonymous, Grants, NM

“You’re riding your bike across the country?  That is amazing.  Can I donate to your mission?” as she hands my wife $20 and drives off.  – Unknown, Albuquerque

“I am an addict, I love what you’re doing.” Cade, Sayre, OK.  Cade was so excited about meeting with us he shouted that out to us before he even put his truck in park.  Of all the conversations so far, this one had the profoundest impact on me.  We had this amazing conversation, shared a snippet of our stories, and had a word of prayer.  I know God moved each of us in that moment.

“Are you riding your bike across the country to help others with addictions? I am in recovery from alcohol for thirty-two years.  God bless you on your mission.” – Unknown, Stroud, OK

“I just had to stop and tell you I was a meth addict.  I have been clean for six and a half years.  When I saw your van, I googled your website and found out what you were about.  I just had to stop and tell you I love what you’re doing.” Unknown – Tulsa

“I am biking from Chicago to Santa Monica.  I just turned fifty and decided to do it.  My goal is fifty miles a day for fifty days.”  – Unknown, Springfield, MO

“I wanted to see what was so special about this…My sister had a bad addiction…It got so bad she was even homeless..She turned it around years ago and now she is a college professor…I know its complicated, but I do belief Faith needs to part of the equation.” – Ray, Waynesville, MO

“People today are disconnected and in a hurry.  They need to slow down and enjoy where they are.” – Norm, Wildwood, MO

Every person I have the opportunity to speak with has a story, a dream, and hope.  I am grateful for these interactions and for the slow motion experiences that come with cycling across the country.  While some days are easier than others and the energy and joy that come from riding fluctuates, there is always a moment where God pulls me aside and reminds me why I am doing this.  When he does and I listen, the experience that follows is incredible.

Wherever you are in your life, please take time to appreciate the gifts in your life today.  Focus not on what is missing, not what you wish was different, or where you could be instead of where you are.  For in that moment of gratitude, you will realize and discover that God has you exactly where you are supposed to be; that is the moment when you will be able to celebrate the work that he has begun in you.  Trust in Him and give thanks for the gifts which are part of your journey.

“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”  – Philippians 1: 6

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Dave Cooke’s Cycling for Recovery ministry is solely dependent upon the generous support of independent donations.  The mission of this 3600 mile cross country cycling journey is to provide support and love to those who are dealing with the addiction of loved one in their lives, while providing education and awareness to others regarding the impact of substance abuse and addiction in our communities.  Please help keep this ministry on the road by donating to Cycling for Recovery – http://GoFundMe.com/CyclingforRecovery.  Your support is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.