July 18, 2016

The Story soon to be told

100PedalsVan-NoCross-largeI am less than ten days away from embarking on a cross-country bike mission. Cycling for Recovery is a three-thousand six hundred mile cycling trip. The mission is to provide love and encouragement to those who are dealing with the addiction of a loved one in their life, while providing education and awareness to others looking to better understand this issue and its impact on our communities.

It is my plan to have one-on-one conversations with those who are struggling with the addiction of a loved one or those individuals who are battling an addiction.  I see these interactions as a wonderful opportunity to hear their stories while offering them a message of God’s love. I will also be giving presentations and talks in churches and neighborhood organizations. Currently, I have confirmed eighteen speaking events and have six others in process.

I have always envisioned taking a cross country bike ride. Call it a bucket list item. When I realized I was focusing on this individual adventure and accomplishment in a self glorifying manner, I declared I would not do this unless there was a higher purpose behind it.  Shortly after making that statement, God spoke to me in a vision where I was in the middle of nowhere, clearly on a bike trip, with a group of cyclists around me and a bible in my hand.  That’s when I heard God say to me, “it’s a ministry, not a bike trip.”

The trip begins on Saturday, July 30 in Santa Monica, Ca and ends on Sunday, October 2 in New York City.  The route will follow Route 66 to Chicago, through Michigan to Detroit, to Pittsburgh, up the New Jersey coast and end in New York City.

Almost everything is set to go. My bike is ready, I am as physically and mentally prepared as I am going to be, I have a support vehicle (a donated Sprinter van), and nine one-week volunteers who have offered to support me at various stages of the ride. The most beautiful aspect of these volunteers is that while some are good friends more than willing to take a week out of their lives to support me, others are perfect strangers from around the country who have been inspired, called to join me on this trip.

One of the stories is about a Dad from Texas. He is a cyclist who has a son battling a heroin addiction.  He was originally going to ride with me the week I was going from Amarillo to Tulsa, until he had a heart attack.  Not sure if he would be able to ride the whole week, he informed me he may have to back out.  I asked him if he would be interested in driving the support vehicle that week instead. Now, both he and his wife will be traveling from Amarillo to Tulsa that week.  They are renting a car to drive to Amarillo and then will be renting a car to drive home from Tulsa. He will also be riding his bike as much as he feels comfortable with.  Judging from their email interactions, they are both incredibly excited to be a part of this journey.  I am, too!

This is but one of many incredibly inspiring and encouraging stories.

God’s handiwork on this project is everywhere. Every time I started to struggle with the enormity of planning and executing a project of this scale, to the point where I was crying out for help or ready to give up, someone showed up with the gift of a resource, an offer to join me, or an incredible word of encouragement. God has always been there to remind me that I am not alone and that he has got this.

Everything is wonderfully in place except one component – financing. I stand at the starting line of this mission with almost no money for the trip.

This is where my faith enters the picture. I know that God is in control of this mission.  It is his project.  He has called me to take this ministry and ride with it. I have accepted His call and am faithfully honoring it. He has already wonderfully and masterfully organized resources and volunteers.  I would not be standing at the starting gate were it not for His work and encouragement on this project.

While I don’t have financially what I desire in order to leave next week, I know that I will be going anyway with whatever I He has blessed me with.  I do not know His plan, His way, or His timing; but, I do know that “with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NKJV) I could choose to judge this situation from the eyes of man and quit; or embrace the presence of God’s greatness and move forward.

While I am standing in a very scary place, there is something peaceful about it. God has got this. I know there is going to be an incredible story once He reveals His plans for me in this adventure.  I have never been this far outside my comfort zone; yet, I know that God loves me, has a plan for me, and will take care of me.  It is in this truth, I press forward looking forward to the experiences of God’s greatness in this journey.

Stay tuned.  There is a marvelous story about God’s greatness in this trip coming soon!

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To learn more about the Cycling for Recovery Mission: http://cyclingforrecovery.com.

To support Cycling for Recovery: http://gofundme.com/cyclingforrecovery

 

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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.