Who is on Your Path?

I often ride my bike on a large and long pathway through Minneapolis to nearby suburbs. This pathway at times has many people, walking, running, skate boarding and biking, etc.

For the past couple of years, I have ridden by a gentleman in a wheelchair who slowly maneuvers his way down the path. I have also seen him navigate up ramps which are somewhat challenging for me on my bike.


Many on the pathway don't acknowledge or any that I have noticed, including me. But I kept being nudged to have some type of interaction with him. I briefly think about what is his story. Where does he come from or live? Where is he going? Does he need any help?


Several weeks ago, I passed him as he was nearing a ramp to go up. This ramp seems steep to me, and you have to go up then turn and go up another ramp. It's like the ramps you see on homes because of the distance they need to make turns.


I rode past him and was drawn to stop but I fought the nudging and justified my thinking, he is fine. Really, I was just not comfortable stopping. I rode past him, probably a mile and was really moved to return and see if he needed assistance. By the time I got to the place I had last seen him, he was gone. Honestly, I felt relieved. Have you ever felt that way? Knowing you should do something but relieved you didn't have to?


This past week on the path again, I passed this gentleman. I rode by him but this time I told myself on the way back I would stop and speak with him. On my way back, I started thinking again about stopping. My mind was in a battle. Should I stop? What would he say or think or react? What may others think as they passed by? What would I say? Maybe I'll stop next time, I'll be more prepared. But I made a commitment.


Psalm 37:5,"Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will act."


I stopped and introduced myself and told him I passed him many times and he inspired me. He seemed a little surprised by my comment. He said his name is Ben. He seemed friendly and receptive to me stopping. I asked him if he needed help going up the ramp which was a short way away. He said that he didn't need any help and has been what he calls, "rolling" a long time on the path. He enjoys being on the path and going up the ramp. He described being in the process of getting a new chair because his current chair is in bad shape. He said, "I know I'm not fast, I'm slow." I pointed to my head and said my wife thinks I'm slow sometimes. Ben smiled and said, "I don't have that problem, my mind is good." He described having good support from his family and had others involved in his life. This was a relief for me to know he was not alone. I asked him about his faith. Ben said, I'm not religious."


I could tell he wanted to get back where he was heading. I thanked him for his time and would stop and say hi to him again if we were to cross paths again.


I am so grateful God put Ben in my path and nudged me to stop. I discovered a man who appeared to be physically limited from outside appearances but a strong willed, intelligent man who loves rolling his wheelchair down the path, enjoying his journey, and getting over the obstacles in his path.


A connection was started. Who knows where this may lead? I'm so grateful that God put Ben on my path. I challenge you to pay attention to who is on your path. Will you stop, on your path, as others pass by and meet your neighbor?


Luke 25:27" You shall love the lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all of your strength and with all of your mind and your neighbor as yourself."


I am a Health and Life Coach. I focus on teaming up with others who may be challenged with heart concerns. I have gone through a heart challenge myself and it's an ongoing journey. My desire is to help those who are struggling and need some guidance to get back on track to live the life they have dreamed.


What is something you could be doing for yourself that could have an impact on your health and well being? We can team up and get you to the health you envisioned.


For a free consultation on how we can reach your desired outcome, send an email to yourhealthcoachrhett@gmail.com.


Rhett Rettinger

Health and Life Coach


#hearthealth #bikepaths #biking #inspiration #paralympics #heart