Editor’s Note: On May 1, 2006, Beliefnet user Neil Woodward, a 59-year-old painter from Vancouver, Canada set out on a bicycle ride across Canada. He hoped it would change his life, renew his faith in God, and reinvigorate his creative inspiration. From the start he encountered challenges that tested his already troubled spirit but he is determinedly pedaling around them and into his future. Beliefnet has asked Mr. Woodward to share the joys and tribulations of his sojourn. He's filing these reports in three parts. In Part 2, below, he talks about his struggles with with hopelessness and anger and his determination to persevere for the sake of his loved.



Location: Vancouver, British Columbia


It took me a couple of days to replace my stolen belongings. During this time I managed to clarify what I hoped to accomplish with this bike trip. I decided that my purpose was not necessarily to reach Halifax within any given time, nor to reach it at all necessarily.


The trip was to be more an exploration of possibilities.


Even without my laptop I would try to update my weblog at internet cafes and public libraries along the way. I would stop over for a day or two whenever I felt the need, and I would put my life in God’s hands and let Him show me the way. I wanted to learn to trust in God completely, and with this in mind, there was one item from my stolen things that I decided not to replace.

In 1994, my doctor told me that I “almost certainly” suffered from clinical depression, caused by a serotonin imbalance in my brain. He had prescribed antidepressants which he said I should probably take for the rest of my life. But his diagnosis was based entirely on what I had told him about my personal history, and I had always questioned it. To me my recurring bouts of hopelessness, despair and fear of life meant only one thing -- that I didn’t have enough faith in God or myself or anything else.