Monday, September 11, 2006

Never Thirst.

Jesus replied, "I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry again. Those who believe in me will never thirst".
John 6:35

Sunday night saw the end of the Winter Spirituality Series at Cession, and the guest speaker touched on the above verse. At least I think it was the above verse, but I wasn’t taking notes, so it may have been a similar verse. She did however mention the bit about never thirst.

And it reminded me of something that happened to me at the beginning of this year.

We were camping in the Hunua Ranges, and I decided I’d take my mountain bike, and try a bit of mountain biking. Being a sensible lad I chose what was supposed to be a 5km, undulating course – it sounded easy – undulating in my mind would be gently flowing slopes.

Being that it was only a 5km ride, I didn’t think water was necessary, I was after all used to cycling just under 20km to work most days.

What I didn’t know was that the information I had been given on the trail I was about to attempt was woefully wrong. I was in fact attempting Auckland’s hardest mountain bike trail, one that shouldn’t be attempted by anyone except expert riders, and one that was a lot longer than 5km.

I also set out in the middle of a very hot day, expecting to get plenty of shade.

The shade turned out to be next to none, as the trail followed the ridgeline, and the undulating ridgeline was more akin to mountain climbing.

Mountain climbing in wet clay.

I’m not sure how anyone, even experienced fitness freaks on mountain bikes could cycle up these almost vertical inclines. But holding onto the dream of a nice undulating downhill stretch and believing that I only had a couple of these dastardly cliff faces to climb, I kept going.

I soon got to the point where I couldn’t turn back, as I didn’t know how far I had come, and it would be foolish to turn back if the end was just over the next peak. I was also dehydrated and desperately thirsty.

But on wards, and upwards I went. And at the top of every climb was and equally steep, rutted and unrideable (to me) decent. I spent more time sliding on my bum and riding in the saddle.

Half way up another incline, I’d had enough. I couldn’t physically go on. I needed a drink.

So I cried out to God. I specifically asked him to send me an angel with a bottle of water. I wasn’t full of faith as I cried out, and afterwards I just laid down on the trial, to wasted to do anything else.

About 5 minutes later I heard a noise. I looked down the trail from where I had come and there was a mountain biker coming up the trail. He offered me a drink of water, which I gladly accepted and then went to go on his way, when he paused and asked me if I wanted to keep the bottle.

I said thanks.

He left me with his super sized bottle of Pump, reassured me I was over half way, and went on his way.

The funny thing is, the trail didn’t look like it had been used for some time, and after a drink and a little longer resting I was on my way again, and I could see no signs that the mystery mountain biker who had gone on before me had even been along the trail. There were no tire marks in the clay. No footprints in the impassable boggy parts. No evidence of any one having been, period.

Had God just fulfilled my prayer, word for word? Had he just fulfilled the promise in John 6:35? Did angles really ride mountain bikes?

I don’t know if God sent a supernatural angel, or had just commanded someone to ride that dastardly trail with an unopened bottle of water. What I do know is that if my mountain biking angel hadn’t appeared, I wouldn’t have made it back to camp that day.

The angel was also true to his word about being over half way, after a couple more dastardly hill climbs I was treated to a nice long, sedate downhill stretch before joining the main gravel road back to camp.

I arrived back just in time for dinner, and apologised for taking so long.

My family and the family we were camping with looked puzzled, and said ‘but we were expecting you about now’.

Then I remembered that I had joked before I set off about seeing them in 5 hours.

1 comment:

Vania said...

thats a loose story. what a cool experience...