Thanks for asking…

Today, as a team of nine riders made our way to Hartford and beyond, I was reminded of the power of presence. Littlest Fricker riding alongside Big Mick took my mind back to almost a decade ago when Larry Allen would depart Dublin and I’d depart Powell. We would meet in the middle on Seldom Seen. He would see me coming and turn his bike round and wait for me to catch up. His greeting was always the same. “How are you?”

How are you? You see it wasn’t the words that seared my soul. LA’s “How are you” was unique because he meant it, his presence told you so. He would touch my shoulder, look me in the eye, and smile. We would be riding our bikes but the hours would melt by when it was just the two of us. It would start with his interest in knowing how I was and he’d just take it from there. I never really got to tell him how much I appreciated him always asking…

I miss my friend, mostly I miss his presence. You see, friend, the gift of presence is a rare and beautiful thing. To come into his presence out on Seldom Seen was to know he was coming unguarded, undistracted, and ready to fully be with you. He would often talk about Jesus and the ministry of “being with.” He walked the talk. Actually, he rode it. His presence was a rare and beautiful thing. So, leader, remember it’s not the words you mouth, it’s not the speeches you rehearse, it’s not the charity events you grace, or even the time you take to travel the world visiting your global partners – it’s your presence. Wherever you are, whomever you’re with, turn off technology, tune into them – the ones right in front of you. Take the time to give them the gift of your interest – your interest in them.

How are you, friend? Well, LA, I’m a bit tired today. The boys rode hard, the wind blew, the hills bit, Downer’s shaving his legs again (you know what that means), Grappy ran out of water, and my twigs are filled with lactate. You would have loved it L-Train. You always loved being with and doing more than your share of the pulling. Thanks for asking, LA.

Thanks for asking…

2 thoughts on “Thanks for asking…

  1. Thank you, Chet, for the good reminder of ‘the ministry of being with’ that Larry taught us so well. He so treasured his rides with you! And I’m counting on his being with me on Saturday as I walk sweet Rach down the aisle.

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