As Christmas nears, I’m actually thinking of Mother’s Day.
One year, as Mother’s Day drew closer, my family asked the same question they’ve asked year in and year out: What would you like for Mother’s Day?
In years past I’d feigned indignation. But that year I had an answer. “I want a bike.” Gift received, a few weeks later, as I pedaled around our neighborhood, God taught me five lessons I would soon need.
Lesson #1: Keep a Look Out Ahead
That morning I coasted around a bend in the road. I jumped up on a sidewalk and as I did, I noticed about six feet of sidewalk missing, replaced by a large hole. I cut my eyes to the right. I had just enough time to slip onto the road without injury. Keep a look out for what’s ahead, God whispered.
Lesson #2: Keep a Look Out Behind
Later, I heard a car approaching from behind. Keep a look out for what’s coming up behind you… Sometimes life has a way of sneaking up on you. The most innocent of things can come back to bite us. Sin has consequences. When we run to the Father and plead the blood of the Son, the sin is forgiven, but the consequences often remain.
Lesson #3: Watch for Others Along the Way
I continued forward, dipping into an area of winding roads shaded by large oaks. It’s my favorite part of the ride, but with the roads curving as they do, I have to keep a watch for who might be ahead of me. As popular as this neighborhood is with bikers, it’s even more so with walkers and runners. Life is like that, the Lord whispered again. Sometimes it’s the people we encounter who can trip us up along the way.
Lesson #4: There Will Always Be Poop
Our neighborhood policy is: if you “walk your dog,” you “clean up behind your dog.” All along the way folks amble behind their furry friends. They have a leash in one hand and a plastic bag in the other. But, sadly, not everyone poop-scoops. No matter how well you plan it out, said that tiny whisper again, life sometimes means running into poop every now and then. We watch out for it as best as we can, but sometimes, well, it’s too late. And then we have a mess to clean up.
Lesson #5: Keep Your Wheels Pointed Toward Home
As I turned the final corner that morning, I realized that from the moment I’d left the house, the wheels of my bike had been pointed toward home. Always remember where your spiritual home is … and run to the Father in prayer. No matter what, keep that focus. I am here. I am at Home. And I am waiting to chat with you.
Once inside, I showered, changed, and headed to my office. Not a minute later, my husband came in, looking quite pale. Within minutes, I had 9-1-1 on the phone.
The next few days were filled with doctors and nurses, personal care technicians, cardiologists and their array of tests, phone calls to family and friends, prayer unlike anything I’ve ever felt before, and—finally—surgery.
The very points God had given to me on my bike ride were now those lessons pushing me forward and helping me to keep my balance and momentum.
I’m thankful for Mother’s Days past and for the joys of a loving parent. I’m grateful for a young mother who gave birth to the Savior of the world.
This Christmas, remember, with every step we take—one foot in the past and the other in the present—we head toward an uncertain future. But God is there … all the way.
(Photo courtesy of morguefile and Alvimann.)
(For more devotions, visit us at www.christiandevotions.us.)