One of the reasons my family and I are excited for the return of warmer weather is the ability to resume our traditional bike rides. I’m always amazed at how much my girls develop over the winter. Each year, Sydney gets stronger and stronger, and develops the ability to ride longer and longer – unfortunately for me!
Molly is also showing some progress in her development. Last year she could hardly even pedal her tricycle, but on our first few outings she’s taken control of her bike and pumped those little legs as fast as they will go.
The problem is that she hasn’t quite figured out yet how to pedal and steer at the same time. Now, you have to understand that Molly has never been cautious in her mobility. She is constantly walking into walls and furniture because she doesn’t pay attention to what’s in front of her. She gets so excited and revved up that where she’s going becomes secondary. She’s the only 3-year-old I know who needs a GPS navigation system.
When she’s riding her tricycle, she builds up a lot of momentum with her pedaling, but has yet to figure out how to keep the bike on the sidewalk. She’s usually too busy looking at a bird or car or nothing in particular to notice that she’s about to drive off into the grass. Her driving is so erratic the local police suspect we’ve been spiking her sippy cups. We’re considering installing guardrails on all our sidewalks.
Thankfully, Molly’s tricycle comes equipped with a navigational aid – a long handle that extends from the back of the bike that a parent can hold onto and use to steer any wayward toddlers back onto the right path. If I notice Molly veering toward a mailbox or unsuspecting jogger, I can grab the handle and direct her away from danger. So far, she hasn’t run over anything more valuable than my foot.
As I’ve grabbed that handled and steered her I the right direction, I’ve found myself wish that I came equipped with the same handle. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had handle that God could grab and reorient us when we started going in the wrong direction? How much easier would life be if we weren’t the ones steering?
But often the greatest lessons in life are learned by going down wrong paths. If God jumped in and rescued us every time, would we be the persons we are today? The only way Molly is going to realize the importance of staying on the sidewalk is to experience the difficulty of trying to pedal on the grass. I believe God allows us to make our mistakes as a way of helping us learn the benefits of living the life God has called us to live.
While God didn’t give us each our own handle, I do believe God gave us an invaluable navigational aid. The Bible is our compass that steers us in the right direction. Deuteronomy 30 says, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.”
We have choices laid out in front of us like sidewalks leading in different directions. We should strive to choose the path of life, holding fast to the love of God. And when we choose the wrong path, we can remember the forgiveness that is offered to us through Jesus Christ.