We headed out later than we had hoped. A little Harried, a little Perturbed, a little Reluctant, a little Excited, and a big Impatient were my companions for the ride, all in line behind an expectant Grandpa and Grammy for the last bike ride of their visit.
I was scurrying to pack water bottles, a prop, and, of course, a camera for the ride and was last to pull out of the driveway, my mind already another world away.
The plan was to snap a few quick pictures down by our favorite frog pond for an idea that had been simmering for the last 48 hours in my head. An idea for this, an effort to raise awareness for the work of OneVerse.org whose mission is to get the good news of Jesus translated into languages for the nearly one-third of the world's population who do not yet have the Bible printed in their native tongue.
Our hearts, the harried, the perturbed, the reluctant, and the impatient, and the dangers they presented were all miraculously downgraded in their severity by the blissful trek through nature. Funny how open skies, green walls smelling of earth, and the occasional native scampering across our path can bring such calm to our restless spirits.
We arrived in packs, the eager children first with mama and papa right behind, followed finally by grandparents who were determined to soak up every last bit of Canadian air. I took the pictures, the younger ones free finally to terrorize frogs at will while us older folk caught our breath on the bridge overlooking the bullying (no frog pun intended) below.
Someone called out a warning to clear the bridge for approaching riders coming in fast. They waved away our concern, calling back that the bridge was their intended resting spot.
The man spoke first, the father out biking with wife and daughter. He asked what we were doing, namely me, The One With The Big Fat Camera.
Always eager to plant a seed, I mentioned that I was taking pictures to raise awareness for the millions yet without the Bible in their language and, must've been the proximity to the fishing pond, he bit hard. Hook and line anyway.
A self-avowed atheist, his intellect wouldn't allow him the ridiculous comfort of man made religion. His faith, he said, was much stronger - he believed only in molecules building upon molecules over billions of years until their final culmination in humans, trees, pond, and frogs.
We chatted for quite sometime sharing verses from the Bible of God's great love and the sacrifice His love demanded, the door opened by a personal mission to aid those without news of a Savior another world away. Yet, here in my own city, in my own neighborhood, in my own backyard lived and biked a soul lost without knowing of the simplicity of God's love.
He wanted to know what made me, what made us, so certain that our truth was Truth. Why not believe the many other religions of the world? After giving a few freebies about historical proof and the personal testimonies of transformed pre-avowed atheists, I turned the question back on him.
Why not research yourself to find Truth, if it exists, and come to your own conclusions?
His intrigue continued, questions firing without pause. All the while insisting that, while he admired our passion and the good works our faith compels us to do, he was really oh so very past all that.
A man with Truth whispering to his restless spirit. A man with access to the good news of Jesus Christ. A man with a seed planted in his heart.
I left the house an hour earlier set on enjoying a bike ride with my family and, if possible, capture a few pictures to inspire compassion for other souls living two worlds away from my first.
We came back home having inspired inquiry, curiosity, and perhaps the new beginnings of one man's soul journey.
One seed, one verse, one life, one conversation.
One bike ride to save the world.
October 1 I'm riding again, this time in support of AIM. If you too want to ride to save the world, watch this and see if you're up for the mission.