Yesterday we went for our first family bike ride. S just got a bike so we both can ride and put two children in the “chariot” ( a bike trailer) and F on a tandem extension that our neighbor loaned us. We must be quite a sight as we ride down the street because lots of people waved or said “hello” as we went by.
Anyway we decided to ride to a local coffee shop belonging to a friend of ours, stop for a bit, and then come home. The first part of of the trip is not hard even with an extra 60 pounds or so in the trailer behind my bike, but the next bit has a little hill and then a slow rise for a couple of blocks. Then that 60 pounds makes a difference! By the time we got to the coffee house I was ready for a long cold drink! We sat for a while and got things to drink (F and Su shared a decaf espresso) and then S and F went off for a longer ride and I brought the other children home.
This morning I am feeling it in my calves and ankles, but I am also thinking about that ride and my thirst in the context of yesterday’s gospel reading:
41He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.
42And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
A cup of cold water doesn’t sound like very much, but to the one who is thirsty it is something. Often we think that the thing that we do is too small to matter, when in fact it has served as refreshment and even life to the one who was thirsty.
When we got to the coffee shop I was wondering if I was going to be able to bike all the way back home, but after an icy drink I was ready to haul that trailer back to the house. A cup of cold ice tea made the burden of 60 extra pounds of children manageable.
That is often how it is with the things that burden our spirits and hearts. We cannot remove those burden from each other, but we can refresh each other and help to make those burdens manageable.
Some recent “Cups of Cold Water” I have received:
- a friend who listens when I call
- a friend who watched the children so I could work on a project for a bit
- the friends and family who call, post, or email to let me know they are thinking of me and to challenge me with their thoughts
- S who listens and tries to help me think things through when I am pondering new concepts
- F who told me I was a smart Mama when I managed to install a zipper in a dress without breaking a needle
- good books that challenge my thinking and living
There are many, many more…thank you