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The Miles Matter: Holy Preparation & Commitment

Three weeks later, and here we are. This is my final blog post on the topic of the distance that Biking for Babies missionaries are asked to cover during the national ride. This is arguably the one I have been most excited to write. It is a topic that is near and dear to my heart as an athlete and athletic trainer. Therefore, I want to start out with lessons I have learned, but ones that don’t come from Biking for Babies.

As an athletic trainer, I have been incredibly blessed to work underneath some very decorated collegiate coaches such as: Greg Gard, Mike Fox, Mark Johnson, and Coleman Scott. All very different coaches with different styles of motivating their employees and student-athletes. But one aspect of all their programs is ubiquitous: preparation. “Championships are won during the offseason” might as well hang in every coach’s office. And the most successful coaches not only preach this, but their teams believe it and act on it. I believe this motto and way of approaching, well anything, is so successful because it is a divine concept.

You heard me right; at its core I truly believe preparation is a very holy undertaking. And to illustrate it, I’ll pose you this simple, yet very complex, question:

Why wasn’t Jesus just born and then killed? His mission was to go to the cross and die for the sake of our sins, so why not be born and get it over with? (My following reflection is as thorough as I believe my brain and a blog could go. If you are looking for some more insight to this theological question, a good place to start is “The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ” by Brant Pitre).

To answer this question, let’s look at the Gospel journey. During the heart of His ministry after much time with his apostles, we read that even his most beloved friends “did not understand” (Mk 9:32; Lk 9:45; Lk 18:34); and, believe it or not, just like you and me, the apostles’ hearts were going through a CONSTANT CONVERSION in order to understand Jesus. To me, this is the Biblical proof that we need time to accept Jesus in our hearts.

Therefore, Jesus was, and is, a master at preparing the hearts of his disciples: then and now. He was a master at meeting people where they were at and CHALLENGING them to come just a bit closer to Him.

Look at these examples:

  1. Jesus called his first disciples (Peter and Andrew) during their jobs as fishermen (Mt 4:18-22)
  2. Zacchaeus, a known sinner, was called by Christ to prepare a meal for him (the most intimate of settings in Jewish culture) (Lk 19:1-10)
  3. when Christ asks a Samaritan women for water at the well (Jn 4:1-35).

When he encountered people or performed miracles, as soon as the people recognized that He was “the Christ” (Mk 8:29), He consistently “warned them not to tell anyone about Him” (Mk 8:30). He knew it was these claims that would vilify Him (Mt 27:22). He knew it was this title that would lead to a crown of thorns and people screaming “Hail, King of the Jews!” (Mk 15:15-19). We are approached with a familiar question: Why bide time?

The answer to this complex question? Jesus was PREPARING the hearts of His disciples and our hearts for His death. He did not need to prepare for His death; the apostles did, we did. Jesus’ ministry during His life was NOT for His sake, but for ours and the whole world.

Without His example, the apostles would not have been able to go out two by two and evangelize to hundreds of people. Without His example, the early church would not have been established (see all of Acts). Without His example, what would be the point of the letters in the New Testament? Without His example, how would we know how to love our brothers and sisters?

Saying, “I believe in Jesus” without preparing our hearts, bodies, souls, and minds is just like saying, “I won a national championship” without ever starting the season. If the apostles needed time to be pulled on a constant conversion towards Christ while they spent time with him, then I absolutely know I need to continually be preparing my heart for Christ.

Unfortunately, our culture HATES preparation and anything but instant gratification. If you need a few examples, think of our superficial obsession with: fast food, participation trophies, becoming friends on Facebook, and pornography. Sure, some are more extreme than others, but they all point to the broken human desire to have the satisfaction or fulfillment without putting in the time, the effort, the preparation.

A 10-mile bike ride takes a lot less preparation than a 6-day, 600-mile journey. There is no getting around that. For the executive team, it means we prepare almost 365 days of the year. We work around the clock outside of our 9-5 careers to plan future events, rides, galas, campaigns, etc. For missionaries – bikers and support crew alike – it means spiritual, mental, physical, and financial preparation.

Preparation requires a commitment, and to be a Biking for Babies missionary, it requires commitment to changing the culture. It requires a constant awareness that every workout, fundraising event, team video call meeting, and prayerful reflection is pointing towards Biking for Babies’ mission – to renew the Culture of Life in America, one pedal stroke and one pregnancy resource center at a time.

That kind of preparation and commitment leads to change, both cultural and personal. It leads to the changing of hearts of our missionaries; I know Biking for Babies has and continues to change mine.

You see, Biking for Babies is not cyclical (ha, get it, see what I did there!); it is a spiral. The first year, you start preparing for the national ride, unsure what it will bring. Then you participate in the sacrificial witness that is the national ride, and, well, it can be overwhelming, but certainly life-changing. Then you have time to reflect, and if you stop there because you think, “this year will be the same as last year,” you miss out on the upward spiral effect.

Because the second time you prepare for the national ride, your preparation is more intense: mentally, physically, and spiritually. And your second sacrificial witness is less of a whirlwind, BECA– USE of your improved preparation, and more of a retreat. And your reflection becomes a more drastic deepening of your faith as you are able to pick out more specific parts where you encountered God on the national ride…And you guessed it, the third time, you climb even higher and higher on the spiral staircase.

The miles, they matter because it gives my generation, and generations to follow, an authentic Christian experience by 1) relying on others and God during an “impossible” act, 2) encountering God and recognizing His sacrificial love through our own sacrificial witness, and 3) growing in communion with God as we prepare our bodies, souls, and minds for the national ride.

God is calling you to prepare your heart for the day when you meet Him face to face. What will He be able to say about your preparation? Will you be like the “good and faithful servant” who has used their talents wisely, or will you hide your talents away, allowing the world to continue on its current trajectory (Matthew 25-30)? The choice is yours…


If you would like to learn more about Biking for Babies missionaries, their roles and responsibilities, whether for you or a friend, please visit: or