Some of us were given an extra dose of God’s Spirit of adventure. If given the opportunity, I choose adventure! Someone approached me about 10 years ago to participate in this event called Ragnar Relay and immediately only knowing a few details, accepted. It’s an all day all night 2 day running adventure covering 200 miles. Not until halfway through my first Ragnar were the remaining details revealed: fatigue, soreness, hunger, cramps, regret, etc. I very clearly remember a conversation with a teammate about 1am on a Saturday morning somewhere in the middle of a dark street in LA. We both stared at each other and muttered the same words, “This is not fun anymore.” We completed the event about 8 hours later and I immediately reenlisted for the following year.
Running is not my strong suite, but I manage. Adventure, camaraderie, extreme exhaustion, and delusional behavior, that was the hook and has brought me back again and again. Is this the definition of insanity? No. Not sure what it is, but these are the ingredients that make up most of my unforgettable memories. This is the stuff that forces you beyond your limits, beyond your comfort zone, beyond your expectations. And sometimes it’s not good. Sometimes my response is, “That was awesome, but I’ll never do that again!” It’s akin to childbirth. You forget the pain; then your buddy calls and invites you to do it again. Is this insanity? I still say no.
Much bigger than my satiated desire for adventure, each runner commits to raising prayer and financial support for FaithQuest Missions. And they are affecting people, the church, and effectively bringing hope, love, and the gospel to people here and abroad. I am not only running to satisfy my earthly desire of adventure, but more importantly, for God, to further bring His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven.
FaithQuest has rallied churches, teams, vans, volunteers, etc. over the years to participate in Ragnar. We participate via running, prayer support, financial donations, course volunteers, and more. God is so faithful. It’s so beautiful to witness again and again His faithfulness when we’re obedient to His whispers and nudges. We ALL have the opportunity to be used in mighty ways. If you don’t believe it, you haven’t tried it. I’m not saying go run a 200-mile relay, that’s crazy, but listen to God; He speaks to us in mighty ways!
I’m a cyclist of the weekend warrior variety. I like to ride with clubs and friends or to just roll out of my garage, often with a wandering route that would take me to the beach or the hills or to both. A few years back I got the notion that I should try to attempt a 100-mile ride. I’m pretty solid for 50 or 60 miles and maybe, in a stretch, 70 miles but 100? I’d have to dig deep on that one. I mentioned my big idea to my son, MC and suggested that he come along with me to lend some moral support on this grand adventure. He was in and further, he suggested that we open it up to some of our rider-friends. The next thing we knew we had about a dozen riders who were ready to roll with us. There was no backing out at that point.
Soon thereafter our dozen riders had swelled to over 30 riders. With this, I had another thought; if we can find 30 riders with a few texts, what could we do with a greater call to all south-county riders to come out and join us? I took this idea to John Gash of FaithQuest Missions. John, what would you think about launching a century bike ride, (a “Century”, indicating a 100-mile ride) to benefit FaithQuest Missions? John was in, immediately. With this, the Big Ring Century was launched, (The, “Big Ring” is the front gear on a bike that allows the rider to pedal at top speed).
With a little gorilla marketing we were off and running. John Gash and I rode together and apart to mark every bike lane in southern Orange County, announcing the ride with our chalk messages, some Facebook ads worked as well, we posted signs in bike shops and we spread the word as best as we could. It worked. It was an awesome sight to see over 500 riders at starting line of the Inaugural Big Ring Century.
Over the next few years we were blessed to build a family of faithful volunteers who have organized some amazing Big Ring events. In this time we were also able to raise some money for the important Kingdom work of FaithQuest Missions, an amazing organization that is spreading the gospel to the far corners of the world and is directly benefiting some forgotten people who are in great need who, otherwise may have never been reached.
We’re changing things up a bit this year at the Big Ring. Our ride, on May 19th will still include fee-based riders but our emphasis will be less about the Big Ring ride, itself and more about our riders joining alongside Team FaithQuest in its mission.
This year Big Ring will join with a larger group that will pack and send 500,000 meals to war torn children in Africa. Rather than to have our riders pay a fee to ride and then not see them until the following year, we’re challenging each Big Ring rider to join Team FaithQuest by raising the cost to supply 1,000 meals, ($300) for the children and then to continue their support by becoming a part of the ongoing missions work. Further, and importantly, we’re praying that non-riders will also step up and match our Big Ring riders with their own 1,000-meal gift to FaithQuest Missions. Are you in!?
It’s been a great blessing for me to be able to be a part of the Big Ring Century. You can join in the fun too. There’s an open invitation for everyone reading this to join us at the Big Ring on May 19th.
At FaithQuest we believe God has wired the human heart for adventures that will not only be fun and exciting, but will also grow our faith and character.
For some a great adventure might be the RV life with all the amenities of home, with their biggest challenge simply being, how to find a campground spot big enough to park that 60 ft.; two story RV with pop outs. Most would agree that it is great fun to have leisurely times in a decked out RV’s, or travel the world on a yacht or cruise ship, but at some point, you can only golf, camp and travel so much before your heart begins to quest for something more.
Why? It is because God has wired us to function best when we continue to grow and develop, and when we serve others. Most experts agree that people, who have the most fulfilling lives, are the ones who implement these characteristics throughout their lifetime. Through the grace of God, modern science and medical breakthroughs, our life spans and healthy living range has increased exponentially. We now have more opportunities than ever to do great and wonderful things that can be fun, adventurous, challenging and creative, while simultaneously making a difference in people lives that are less fortunate.
At FaithQuest Missions we live for opportunities to inspire, encourage and ignite people, just like you, to put their faith into action. Is God placing the desire in your heart to join us for one of our great Adventure opportunities? Or perhaps you would like to join us for a vision trip to a part of the world that you would never ordinarily get to experience?
We would love to encourage you not to wait, do it now.
Go and do some of the great and incredible adventures that God has placed on your heart, don’t wait for someday to come and perhaps miss that incredible opportunity to step out in faith to do something both exciting, meaningful and adventurous.
All of our Adventures opportunities and Vision trips are designed to be fun and exciting and best of all, they are designed with outcomes that serve or support the Last, Least and Lost.
In this 4-wheel drive all terrain vehicle are several men who have already completed the first couple of chapters of life. Some of these men I have known for over 30 years, we have experienced each others story in a personal way for decades, and when you know someone that long, you get to know the real person behind the protective layers.
I had the opportunity to spend a week with these fine gentleman on a 200 acre farm in middle America, we were not there for the fishing, although we fished, we were not there to bog around in the mud, hatch baby chickens, feed horses or take walks in the country, although we did all these things. We were there to spend time together and focus on one thing. We were there to encourage and challenge each other to maximize our lives for eternal purposes.
It is common knowledge in the business world to begin with the end in sight; otherwise the old adage comes into play “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will do”. Sometimes we remember to plan our business lives and forget that the same principles can apply to our personal lives as well.
Here are some essential ingredients to help you maximize your life.
- It is essential to understand your mission and purpose for living.
- It is essential to have friends that can offer honest outside perspective.
- It is essential to have Biblical values that can guide you in your decisions.
- It is essential to know where you are going and prayerfully make a plan.
- It is essential to act on your plan by putting your faith into action.
Each of the men in this story decided many years ago that their primary purpose in life is to know and love God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength.