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Star Wars hit Bike Out Hunger on Tuesday as some Yoda wisdom was shared with the riders.

Riding comes with some soreness, suffering and injuries at times, said Don Vanderslice, pastor of Mosaic Austin.

“Who really signs up for a week to suffer?” he asked of all the riders participating in Bike Out Hunger as he led morning devotions. “Are we sadists? Probably a little.”

But out of suffering comes lessons and wisdom. Vanderslice said that if Yoda were involved in Bike Out Hunger, he would share some wise words to contemplate during the ride.

“Yoda’s job was to teach Luke, and maybe we can think of our bikes as little Jedi,” he said. “If Yoda were here, I think he would say something like ‘suffering good for you. It can be.’ Maybe our bikes can tell us something about suffering and suffering well.”

Most Americans work hard to avoid pain, boredom and suffering at all costs, but this also can make them start to lose the life they are in. Vanderslice reminded the cyclists that Christ came to earth to bring compassion on humanity, to suffer with humanity.

“In the quiet moments today and when your back and knees are hurting, let that be a reminder of the compassion of God and how He suffers with us and the compassion we should have for others,” Vanderslice said.

And those moments of suffering did come as the team rode out from the Woodville hotel at about 7:45 in the morning and soon encountered steeper and more constant hills than the day before. But they endured, knowing that spiritual lessons may lie in the midst of the hills.

They also had opportunities to share truth and compassion during the day. Matt Rob, a cyclist from Tyler, stopped with a teammate at a gas station in Huntington for a stretch break. While there, they struck up a conversation with a man, soon finding out that he was a Hindu. The conversation stayed engaged for about 15 minutes and the cyclists were able to share clearly about the love of Christ and reasons for hosting Bike Out Hunger.

The man instantly connected with the hunger platform of the ride, stating that he knew of about 40-plus kids who dealt with hunger in that small community and the struggle to know what to do.

In the area where the cyclists rode today, about 20 percent of people are food insecure. The team passed through Tyler County, which has 4,390 individuals who are food insecure; Angelina County, which has 16,080 individuals who are food insecure; and Nacogdoches County, which has 12,280.

The team gained another rider today to make a group of 26 cyclists for Tuesday. Everyone finished the 69-mile ride despite hot afternoon temperatures and high humidity. Several riders experienced shredded tires, though no one was injured in the events.

Once all the groups of cyclists arrived at the hotel by 2:30 p.m., all took a little rest before heading to First Baptist Church of Nacogdoches for dinner. Most of the staff was present to serve the team and to hear about ministries funded through Texas Baptist Offering for World Hunger.

As the riders embark on Wednesday’s journey, please be praying for safety. A couple of support vans following riders for their safety had a couple close calls with reckless drivers today. No collisions happened today, but please pray that the Lord will continue to protect the cyclists and support team as they head from Nacogdoches to Tyler tomorrow. And continue to pray that opportunities to share the hope of Christ will appear for the riders.