Sometimes things happen in life that don’t seem significant at the time but prove otherwise later on. That’s what happened to my husband John and me after a simple flat tire.
There we were, making a tough trek around the back side of Pearl Lake, a steep, three-hour, intense mountain bike ride. John’s tire blew out and he stopped in a shady spot to change it. Unfortunately, his spare was flat too. As I rode home alone to retrieve his bike tube, the situation reminded me of what happens sometimes in giving. You start to get really good at it, you have a clear path, you know the journey, and the ride is fun, rewarding, and exhilarating.
Then something unexpected happens – a flat, a fall, or a mysterious root that makes you go head over heels, changes your path, and changes your thinking. That same kind of unexpected development can change the way you give, if you embrace it when it happens and choose to go with it rather than bemoan it.
That day on the trail around Pearl Lake, we could have gotten discouraged and turned back. We could have let something unexpected stop us in our tracks and send us limping back home. Instead we chose to look at it as part of our journey. I returned with a new tire, we got back on course, and we ended up having an amazing day.
Looking back at our experiences over the years, there have been many times when a great book, an inspiring speech, or a single person has had such an impact that it did make us stop and choose to take a different path or change our plans. And sometimes what feels like a discouraging setback can become a catalyst for growth.
And to top it off, the greatest and most satisfying adventures are usually the ones farthest off the trail. John and I love mountain biking for just that reason—it’s not the same highway that everyone else is driving down. It’s off the beaten path—literally!
The lesson here is to make the most of whatever happens, and to understand that every journey is different. The unexpected won’t necessarily be the wrong thing to have happen—it’s just not what you were planning on. Embrace it, incorporate it, and keep going!
Like what you hear? Pick up a copy of Every Gift Matters: How Your Passion Can Change the World, now available at Amazon.