Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Seth Charles Signing Off

Well its been a few days since the trip ended and I've had some time to think about all that has happened in my life over the past 8 weeks. It sure has been quite the journey. I keep thinking of things that occurred on the bike trip that are so applicable to life and the christian walk. This trip was something that was so full of experiences, I think I'll be able to draw from them and learn new things all the time but there are a few things that made impressions on me.
The first thing that hit me was the power of a conversation. It may seem kind of idealistic but there were so many times on this trip where we just started talking to someone and before we knew it, they were offering us their beds to sleep in, their shower to wash off in, and their food to eat. I think that in our everyday busy lives we lose sight of the fact that the people passing us around every corner are in fact human beings with feelings, hopes, fears, and dreams. Sure this sounds cliche, but It amazed me that out of all the very different people we came in touch with, all of them were genuinely concerned for our well-being and safety. The people really wanted to hear our stories and get to know us as we got to know them. So, if there is an opportunity to strike up a conversation with someone, take it, even if its for a few minutes. Let people out there know that your a person who cares and we all don't have to live in our own bubbles.

The second thing that I noticed was the power of perseverance. So many people along the way would ask, "Where you guys going?" 
We would respond, "Maine!" 
That was usually followed by, "Holy (fill in your favorite four-letter word)!"
Everyone was blown away by the fact that we were biking from San Diego, California to Lubec, Maine. Seriously, who does that just for kicks? But looking back on the experience, the only way to accomplish something that big is by putting on goggles that let you see only the day in front of you. 
So many times on the bike I would think "Holy crap, how am I ever gonna do this?" 
Than, another side of me would say, "just make it through today Seth, just make it through today." 
Yes we are called to be wise and plan ahead for certain things, but I think in our Christian walks, we should be looking at the day in front of us. What can I do to further God's kingdom today? How can I help someone today? All the sudden the task seems more at hand. And than when you look back on your life down the road a few months you realize, "Wow look what God has done through me, I never thought that was possible!"

Finally, I realized the value of good friends. When I finished the trip and was driving home, I thought that there was no one else that I could have thought of to do this trip alongside me. I want to thank Dietrich and Bobby so much for giving me the opportunity to join them on this trip. It truly was the experience of a lifetime. 
Dietrich, thank you for being so easy going and always bringing energy to some of those lifeless days. You were always there to lighten the mood and make the trip fun on the tough days. Thank you also for being brutally honest at times. You taught me a lot about myself and called me out on things in my life that need changing. I'm grateful for that. 
Bobby, thank you for your power to motivate us and your foresight on many things. You made the trip actually happen and without you, we never would have made it to Maine. Thank you, for your willingness to help out when I was tired and to pull the BOB as long as you could to give others the break they needed. Your quiet determination and optimism is what got us across the country. Also, your ideas to vary our diet and eat chinese food was always a big treat and a huge refreshment. So thank you guys. We have made a bond that is stronger than we realize. Two months we shared, that only we will fully know. A friend by your side to pick you up when you fall is worth more than anything else. 
I want to say one last thank you to everyone at home who kept us in their prayers. They were felt and we couldn't have made it without them. Thank you Mom and Dad for allowing me to experience this trip at the expense of a few extra gray hairs. And thank you to all of those reading who encouraged, fed, housed, or helped us in some way along the trip. You were the ones who made it the experience of a lifetime.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith."
Hebrews 12:1 


  1. What you learned about connectedness and perseverence will stand you in good stead for a lifetime!
    May God bless you and keep you as you pursue your life's goals.
    David and JoAnn in Tipton

  2. Dear Seth, Bobbie and Dietrich:
    How do Grandparents like us say to you and your riding buddies, how utterly thrilled we are that you guys really did this. Even though Grandpa said to you Seth, "If he was twenty years younger he would try to ride with you".
    The magnitude of the ride said they may not make it on the first attempt. When we saw you guys in York Springs, Grandpa said to me. "They have a real chance of making this ride and he didn't know how he was going to handle that event. Truth is the old guy was caught flatfooted with emotion. I (Grandma) prayed constantly for your safe return and I likewise was not prepared for the day. Your ride across America brought us very close to two wonderful young men whom we find it easy to feel they are grandson's as well. After all this event likely joined you guys to each other for a lifetime so we need to see you all as special. For Grandma the premiere event was to be able to be in Lubec when you three arrived, and neither of us will ever forget the sight of you three riding in out of the fog. You have each lit your own stars and we pray that you can keep them shining in your life ahead.

    Grandma and Grandpa Simpson