The Next Phase

It seems I’ve been hit with the summer blues. My travels haven’t taken me far from Bozeman, but I continue to make slow progress towards the Montana/Idaho border.

My first stop after leaving Bozeman was Manhattan Montana. As I approached this town it felt like I was riding into a Hollywood movie scene because the town just looked so idyllic of what people who have never been to Montana think Montana looks like. And, as I soon discovered, this town is a little Mecca for that artsy crowd that I so love. I knew I’d be spending some time in this town. And as I walked around the town visiting the different shops, I found myself thinking “Could I live in a place like this?” My answer was yes then I began to wonder if that was what this trip was more about; finding my next phase in life.

Knowing I still had well over 200 miles to go to get to Idaho, I bid farewell to Manhattan and rode on to Three Forks, Montana. It is here where the Missouri River begins and it was fun to see where the river I grew up by got its start. I felt a tug at my heart to get back to Omaha, Nebraska, but knew that phase of my life was over.

Three Forks offered so much to do there that I ended up staying 4 days. It was a much needed rest for me and gave me time to think about all those phases in life I’ve experienced. While I was trout fishing on the Missouri River, I thought of my childhood living in Nebraska. The memories of spending time on my grandparent’s farm or camping with my cousins are firmly etched into my brain. My parents, although never rich, provided a good, healthy upbringing sheltering us from the trials and tribulations they faced each day. It felt like we were millionaires and to some degree we were; rich in love. There have also been phases in my life that I choose not to remember so clearly although the memories are forever there, but for the most part, my life has been a very blessed life. Where my bike takes me on this trip around the country is definitely a part of the next phase in this life of mine.

And in my real life, I often find myself pondering where I’ve been, what I’m doing now, and where God will lead me next. These ponderings became even stronger last week when I was able to connect with a former client of Catholic Charities allowing me to be able to give her the money that was donated to us for her when her daughter had been severely bitten by a dog and she was new to Colorado Springs. She had said that until that very moment of receiving this money, she didn’t know how she was going to buy supper for that night. Now she had enough to buy a couple of weeks of groceries. It warmed my heart to know that a little extra effort on my part maybe helped this woman to enter a better phase in her life.

And thinking about those future phases of my life, I have notions about retiring in Chadron, Nebraska some day, but who knows if that’s part of God’s plan for me. I take each phase in my life lightly, cherish the fond memories I have of each phase, and wait for signs from God as to where He wants me next. For it’s through my faith in God that has brought me to this phase and it will be God’s direction that takes me to the next phase. May your phases in life be as joyous as mine have been and may we all keep going the distance.

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