My three year old has just recently started riding a bike with no training wheels. He’s not a child-phenom or anything. No, I attribute his early bike riding ability to his balance bike. He got one for his birthday, and he rode it all the time, eventually mastering the balance part of riding a bike. So, I put him on a pedal bike and gave him a push. That was all it took! I highly recommend one for your kids!
Anyway, as he works on his control of the bike, I find myself yelling two things: Look ahead! and Keep on Going!
And what to you know, such good lessons for life have come out of my 3 year old’s bike riding experience!
When Max rides his bike, he is so easily distracted. He looks at the fields around him, his brother and sister riding by him and also at me, running behind him. When he starts looking around, his steering becomes erratic. He wobbles back and forth as his handle bars swing side to side. Sometimes, he jack knifes and falls over. If he would just look ahead, he could keep himself steady.
On our Christian walk, we can be so easily distracted. We are tempted to look at our circumstances and let them dictate our behaviors and emotions. We look at others on their journeys, and we compare ourselves. Sometimes, we let them pull us onto a path not meant for us. We look back, either wishing for what could have been or lamenting and getting hung up in the past.
And just like my son on his bike focusing on all the wrong things, focusing on our less than perfect circumstances, on others and on our pasts can cause us to stumble and fall.
Thankfully, God provided us with Someone we can look to. Someone that will never cause us to stumble. Someone that will help, guide and give wisdom on our journey. It’s Jesus, of course!
“Therefore…let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2, NLT).
Fixing our eyes on Jesus keep us from focusing on sin. Focusing on Jesus keeps us from getting tripped up by the past or from focusing on others in comparison. After all, our help comes from the Lord (Psalm 121:2).
The past few times I have taken the kids out on a bike ride, it has been very windy. Plus, we have to go up a hill to make it to our driveway. I found myself cheering Max on. “Keep going, Max! You can do it! Just keep moving!”
The thing about our Christian journey is that we are not called to stand still. God is constantly working in us to make us more like Jesus (Phil. 1:6). If God is constantly at work, how can we assume we are to keep doing the same old, same old?
Faith, according to Hebrews 11:6, is needed to please God. But more than that, “Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.”
Have you ever tried to find something without actually moving around and looking for it? Just ask my kids, the worst finders ever. You can’t find anything unless you actively look for it.
Faith requires actively seeking God and then doing what He calls you to do. That is the Christian journey. It is a cycle of seeking then obeying.
So, we must keep on going, even when life gets hard, which of course, it will. We can look again to Jesus as our example. Hebrews 12 goes on to say, “Think of all the hostility Jesus endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” (v.3, NIV).
Jesus endured the terrible punishment of all the sins of the world, but still he looked forward to the joy set before Him. Because we are His, we have the guarantee of that same joy. We also have His presence, which never leaves us or forsakes us.
So, if you’re looking around at others or behind you at your past…Focus your gaze on Jesus instead.
If you’re struggling to move forward…step out in faith and obedience, for this pleases God, and strengthens you.