One question on the Lilly Foundation Clergy sabbatical grant application for
renewal brought me to a complete stop. What would make my heart sing? I have no
idea, and that might be part of the problem. Thankfully, they weren’t looking for a
solid answer, just a pathway to get there.
I prayed, asking God for wisdom to know what parts of my spirit and body need
renewal. The answer became clear, how I was living wasn’t sustainable, and I
needed to spend time taking care of my body. Long story short, sitting hasn’t been
good for my back, and my body and I were starting to see serious signs of stress.
I wanted to do something physically challenging, spiritually renewing, something
that would transform my body and spirit. So I proposed completing 500 miles of
England’s Cathedral cycle pathway that spans 2000 miles and 42 different
To my delight and surprise, The Lily Foundation granted my application, and we
started training! A transformation is beginning! Tom and I have been training with
the Valley Spokesman almost every Saturday to prepare for our summer trip.
Lent is a time for transformation. We don’t all have the Lily Foundation to help with
transformation but it is God who does the true work. Lent is a time when we put
forward our hearts and pray for God’s restoring, renewing, and healing
love. During Lent, we are called to look closely and lovingly at ourselves
to see what parts of ourselves need restoration, renewal, or healing. We
gently ask ourselves, what would make my heart sing?
The Cathedral Route was created in 2021 in collaboration with Cycle UK, Bike UK, and the Cathedrals. Officially the route starts at England’s most northerly cathedral, Newcastle, and from there winds its way around the country, taking in history and natural beauty at each leg of the journey. The full route is 1,825 miles, but it has been broken down into 42 sections between each of the cathedrals. The legs are all of differing terrain, difficulty and lengths – ranging from just 1 mile to more than 100! – so there’s something for everyone. I will be riding one quarter of the route, starting in Norwich and ending in Coventry. Find out more about the route at https://www.cyclinguk.org/cathedrals-cycle-route-challenge