The sun was going down, the wind was coming up. Even so, I pedaled on. It is mid October and earlier on this day I had decided to end a busy week of classes by riding my bike on the Linear trail in Manhattan, KS. As I rode on I checked my phone for the time. It was nearly 9:30 pm, and I had started riding at 9. “Why is this ride taking me so long?” I asked myself. I felt as I was in fairly good shape and moving along at a good pace, and there was no way that this 4 mile trail should take more than half an hour to complete. Even with my doubts, I continued on riding on top of the dike protecting Manhattan from the Big Blue and Kansas Rivers.
Finally, I decided I had had enough. I stopped at the next sign with a map of Linear Trail. As I stood there frustrated, I looked at the map and noticed something. Linear Trail was in fact not 4 miles, but rather 10. Somehow I had gotten the incorrect distance online before I started. Mad at myself, I jumped back on my bike and sped off. After a short while I noticed that my seat had sunk down, so I slammed on my brakes, jumped off my bike, and readjusted it. At this time I choose to take a deep breath and look around me. In all of my previous frustration, I had managed to not take in the sights around me. As I took in a deep breath I noticed how beautiful the stars were, and how the wind gently rippled through the grass as it blew over the meadows. It was definitely a sight to see as the lights from Manhattan glowed in the distance. Before I could get back on my bike, an idea came out of nowhere and smacked me right in the back of the head.
“Just because you don’t know the turns in the path doesn’t mean you won’t get to your destination.”
Bam, talk about a revelation. At first, I rejected this idea, as I am a very detailed orientated person. If I want to do something, I will stress over every single detail so I can see how it will pan out. But within seconds, this philosophy started to grow on me. We may know what we want our end destination to be, but there can be a lot hidden in the valley between mountains A and B. Most of the time we don’t even have control over what that is. Now I’m not saying that we shouldn’t put work or effort into preparation, or no thought into our actions, but rather we need to put our strength and trust in others as well as ourselves, and know that God has a plan for us whatever that may be. Life can work in mysterious ways, ones that we may push away from us at first, but once we reach our destination we couldn’t think of doing it any other way.
I hopped back on my bike and continued on, pedaling a little slower this time. I gazed about me and took in every sight I could see. I trusted this mighty trail, as I knew that many have ridden it before me and finished successfully. I heard the wind rustle the few leaves still on the trees, felt the rock crush underneath my tires, and smelled the fog coming off the river.
It wasn’t long before I pulled back into the driveway and locked my bike up for the night. As I got off I couldn’t help but smile in thought of the previous situation.
As the end of this semester comes closer, we may find ourselves wondering what our future has in store for us. As high school seniors, we may still be deciding on what path we are to take after graduation, college students may be questioning their current major or class schedule, and each and everyone of us always has something in our future that we may not know how to reach. Don’t allow your frustration with not being in total control prevent you from enjoying this ride. You are in good hands, have faith in yourself, and keep pedaling onward towards that horizon.