Crazy

There’s a Steven Curtis Chapman song that keeps popping into my head and the lyrics go like this:

 

And he knows it may look a little strange
But he just smiles and says “that’s okay”
Cause you know sometimes love makes you act that way

It’s crazy when love gets a hold of you
And it’s crazy things that love will make you do
And it’s crazy but it’s true
You really don’t know love at all
Until it’s making you do
Something crazy

 

This team of cyclists-in-the-making is biking from New York City to San Francisco.  Sometimes I wonder how hard it will really be.  Riding into the wind with Ryan and Alex yesterday on the first half of our 25-mile ride, we thought it was tough.  But this is Illinois; this is level ground.  I hear all about the Appalachia Mountains, the first major challenge where we’ll realize that all the training in the world cannot prepare you to climb mountains on a bike.  During training I always find myself thinking, 70×70.  Approximately 70 miles per day for 70 days.

7×70 times is the number of times Jesus says we should forgive those who do us harm (Matthew 18:22), thus portraying the kind of unconditional love we are called to bless others with.  This kind of love is something I want to always have on my mind, whether I am fundraising, interacting with teammates, or simply telling someone about I4K.

During Unofficial weekend, Shiqi and I raised $450 together by selling cookies.  One boy I met simply started telling me his life story.  He thrust dollar bills into my hand as he listed off the types of cancer his mother had dealt with.  Then he started to cry and walked away.  I was reminded of how deep the hurts of cancer are.  Cancer never goes away because it can bring even the strongest people to a place of brokenness; it takes away so much from our loved ones.  As the boy walked away, all I could do was call out “Stay strong!  Stay strong for your mom.”

Yet despite cancer’s evil infiltration into this world, there is a huge amount of hope to combat it.  Last weekend was Relay for Life.  I’ve never been to a Relay event before, and the most emotional part was definitely the Luminaria Ceremony.  It is a period of walking around the track during which we are asked to remember the survivors, the fighters, and the lost.  I prayed the entire time, praising God for sparing my mom, and desperately calling out to Him for my friend’s dad.  During Relay, I spent time remembering why I am a part of the crazy organization Illini 4000.  I contemplated why I chopped off 9 inches of my hair.  That night I donated my hair – it is now quite short! – in order to contribute whatever I can.

Whatever it is that I can contribute, I will do in love.  I love meeting people who have stories to tell because that’s really what Illini 4000 is about: the cohesive, yet individualistic compilation of stories.  People go through crazy experiences and trials and make it out not only with their lives, but as changed people.  I use this motivation as a reason to do SOMETHING CRAZY.

The new haircut :)

 

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