The celebration in St. Catharine’s was quite an event. From 2 pm until 4 pm we huddled under the pavilions at Queenston park and ate peaches as the rain poured out of the sky. At about 3:50 the rain let up to a drizzle and we made our way to the natural amphitheater and stage. By the time the service had begun the rain had stopped and by 4:05 the sun was shining. Brian Walsh spoke concerning the fruits of the spirit and many of us agreed that his message was one of the best this summer. His invitation to us was to bear fruit with our lives as is instructed in scripture:
- Be fruitful and multiply.
- I will make of you a great nation that will bear much fruit.
- Obey my word and you will be fruitful in all your ways.
- You shall share the fruit of your labours, and the poor will glean from your fields.
- Israel is a vineyard and the covenant God is the vinedresser.
- In exile you are to be fruitful and multiply.
- I will make the wilderness bloom and bear rich fruit.
- They shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall plant gardens and eat their fruit.
Convincing isn’t it? Fruit bearing has been a part of day to day meditation this summer and I kinda felt like it would have been great to have had had these words spoken to me 8 weeks earlier. After a bit more thinking though I came to the understanding that where the rubber actually hits the road isn’t on the bike tour. Things need to be thrown into action in day to day life… even more than they do while riding a bike across America because that’s where I’ll be in 7 days. So, while 8 weeks ago would have been nice, this week was more appropriate as these thoughts will likely stay fresher in my mind longer into September and I suppose that’s what counts like I’ve already said.
Another bit that stood out to many of us was his use of the word generosity rather than goodness. It’s a preference of translations from the original epistle (NRSV vs. NIV) but it was the source of our best conversation on the bus on the way back to the school where we were staying. I might relay a bit of that conversation at a later date when I figure it out more and have more time to type.
The departure from St. Catharine’s was a quick one as our group made it’s way towards the escarpment. The temperature was cool and the pace was really blazing as we made our way through the first 30 kms towards the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls. We even drafted a tiny tractor for a few hundred yards. Marc took a video which you can find here. If we thought the border crossing into Canada was smooth this one was way better. They just opened up three lanes and waved us through. No passport necessary as we had all been approved.
After checking out Goat Island on the American side of the falls we set out for Byron. We had a stiff cross-tailwind for the day and the effort to maintain mid thirties was negligible. The scenery of New York State thus far has been mostly farmland and quite comparable to Ontario but the hills seem to be getting slightly longer even though they’re not very high.