I Found A New Hero

Posted: July 28, 2008 by Rich Landosky in The Journey
Tags: , , ,

So, on Friday, we had our second bike trip of the summer.  As it turned out, it was just Wayne and me, so we decided to go for a ride together anyway – Valley Forge to the Art Museum and back.  A good ride with the exception of me picking up two flats.  My first two flats riding a bike in some 36 years of riding a bike.

When we arrived at Valley Forge Park and were unloading our bikes, a mini-van pulled in next to us.  From it emerged a elderly woman.  I would guess she had to be in her eighties.    She popped the back on the van and started getting her bike out.  I walked over and asked her if I could give her a hand.  She responded, “It’s pretty light but I’ll never refuse the help.” She stepped aside and I pulled her bike out for her.  A titanium Merlin road/racing bike probably around $3000+.  She was right, it was light.  From there she put on her cycling shoes and helmet, mounted the bike and off she rode.


As I watched this 80-some year old woman ride away, I started thinking some things to myself:

  • Wow, I sure hope that when I get to be her age I am still riding and doing what she is doing physically.
  • How does a person that old keep her passion of riding alive?
  • Why does it seem so many people toss their passions away and just live?
  • I wonder why there aren’t more folks her age who are followers of Jesus who are just as passionate about following and serving Christ as she is about still riding a bike?

I think one of the saddest things I see are followers of Jesus – older and younger – who have no passion.  And the ones who do seem to be passionate about something, so often the hottest passion is about stuff other than following Jesus.  It breaks my heart to see older followers of Jesus lay aside serving others because “we’ve put our time in and now someone younger can do this.”  I need their example and wisdom.  It also breaks my heart to see students who say they are followers of Jesus but have no interest in serving others but direct their passions to a million other things figuring that when they “get older” they’ll put their time in.  I need their enthusiasm and the younger children and older folks need their example.  In fact, it’s what the apostle Paul tells Timothy in 1st Timothy 4:12 :: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”

Why do we struggle so much with passion?  With being passionate?  With directing our passions to the very Person and things we should be passionate about?  There’s just way too much passionless living and misguided passion amongst those who are followers of Jesus.  I long to see more people who are committed to passionately pursuing God and passionately seeking to serve and love others.

This past Friday I found a new hero.  Not because this woman is 80-something and still riding a bike, although I hope that I will be doing the same at her age.  Not because this older woman has a bike that is so much nicer than anything I can ever dream of having.  But because I found a person of passion, and one who has lived a long life and still has that passion.  To be like her – with the same kind of long-lasting passion – only in my pursuit of loving God and loving others, is my prayer for me this day . . . and for each of you.


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