My failure of Faith, and My only way forward

Update: Immediately after I posted this, I saw the Bicycling Magazine article about the Afghan women cyclists and will be doing a separate post with a link to that and how to help them later. Update: here is that post.


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I woke up feeling so good. It’s my birthday — I’m 58. I had such a nice time with my family yesterday. I started a new garden Saturday, since Uganda’s on hold. I saw friends this past week, some of whom are facing huge medical challenges head-on. I connected some folks through my writing. I had a sweet little ride on my beloved Attica last evening and decided that bike is my favorite (shhh, don’t tell the others). And I even did something on rollerskates that I didn’t think I’d be able to do (my goodness, what is actually possible?).

But then I saw the headlines and they are so, so dire, and I’m worried about everyone and everything and, frankly, scared.

I’m scared a lot lately. The climate crisis. The pandemic. The breakdown in society. The elders in my life. My husband. My children. The women and girls in Afghanistan and Haiti and all over the world. The constant taking-my-life-in-my-hands just to buy bread. The slow pace of positive change to save lives. The cost of everything, and my seeming inability to get my typical career-level paid work anymore despite doing what I consider the best work of my life lately.

For me, I know that fear is a failure of faith. I know that my higher power has a plan for me, even if it’s just temporary stewardship of land, temporary love of people, temporary centering of joy, temporary everything during the nonrenewable resource of time with which I’ve been gifted.

I know I am just a visitor here. I know we are all simply walking each other home.

Fear is a powerful space-hog, however. Fear can overwhelm and consume. Fear can paralyze. Fear can lead to feelings of scarcity rather than abundance.

But fear has faults. Fear cannot pave the way forward for humanity. Fear cannot enable me to live my purpose on this earth. Fear cannot help when help is what’s needed most right now.

For me, I pray through moving meditations, mostly while Traveling at the Speed of Bike. (People who read my book are often surprised by the level of spirituality in it.) And so, today, as usual, as necessary, I will ride. And I will pray. And I will do the hard, heavy lifting required of my heart and mind and soul to once again, somehow, trust the journey.