The Elements of Life

May 23, 2014

I started out today thinking I would be in for a manageable ride. I needed to go 76 miles, but that seemed reasonable. I felt like the largest hills were behind me, and for twenty miles I had some of the easiest traveling I’ve had since I was in the Arkansas delta — only this time the wind was at my back not my side. I came to feel that I would be coasting for my final two days of riding.

But the highway I was on got in to the Savannah River Site which is some kind of a government nuclear thing, but what that meant for me is that there were no stores where I could buy Gatorade or water, and I ran out of what I had. And hills appeared. And it was hot.

I got through the SRS, but still there were no stores, and there were more hills. I actually became pretty distressed about the situation. It’s not easy to ask for help, but I saw a man out in his yard and I asked if I could have some water. He wasn’t a particularly friendly man and his dog was even less enthusiastic about my presence, so I just filled up my bottle and left. I thought I had it made, but soon my bottle was empty again and no town had appeared. But more hills did. And more heat.

I actually began to develop some fear that my trip was going to come to an end with me having heat exhaustion within a day of the beach. What a humiliating end that would have been!

It’s funny how quickly my inhibition about asking for help evaporated when I became seriously thirsty. There weren’t many houses through this part of the country that is primarily used for logging, but I was thrilled when I saw a mailbox in the distance, and after making sure there weren’t any dogs protecting the property I made my way to the door to ask for water.

Turns out nobody was home, but I was revived by their water hose! I lounged in their shade for a while and made my way forward with an ample supply of that most essential element of life!

I guess I can say that this is one thing this trip has done for me. It has reminded me of what is essential for life. I don’t often remember how precious water is. I take shelter for granted. I always have clean clothes to choose from. I don’t generally get wet when it rains or that hot when the sun is out. I have been well blessed with some elemental conditions to deal with, and I think I have new appreciation for what is truly important. I will probably remain particular about the quality of coffee I prefer, but I have been reminded that when it comes down to it I don’t need coffee — I need water.

And so does everyone else in the world!



8 Responses to “The Elements of Life”

  1. Lynn Rockenbach Says:

    Thanks for bringing us with you. Wow,…just wow.

  2. Peggy Yoder Says:

    Thompson one of your greatest qualities making lemonade out of lemons. That’s why God has chosen you to lead.

  3. Earl & Helen Jones Says:

    Also the Elements of a great sermon !!

    Earl Jones 501-944-1860 PO Box 2547 Little Rock, Ar. 72203

  4. Pratt Says:

    “water, water, pure, clean water !”
    I’m about to go bike along Lake Monona, three blocks from where Lucy and I are staying with friends, then bike the wonderful mile down the lake to Hannah’s apartment just a block from the best swimming beach in Madison, B.B. Clark. Bless you on your journey to the sea .I think you can I think you can ! Love, Pratt

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