Looking around more than looking ahead is dangerous
Over the weekend, my 7-year-old son was invited over to a friend’s house for part of the afternoon. This puts my 4-year-old in somewhat of an awkward place as he tries to figure out what to do with himself. At one point during the day, he wanted me to take him for a bike ride. A bike ride at the end of January? I think so.
Going on a bike ride with him is always an exciting time. It is a lesson in patience, trust and stress management. The first thing he did for me was show me all the rocks that he picked up for me. It was my gift. “Look, dad, I got you some rocks.” Of course, he wanted me to take them. I told him to put them back on the driveway where he got them. He obliged.
We then took off down the road. When he rides bike he is the only person in the whole world. He immediately enters his zone and swerves, does spontaneous circles, looks at all the trees, plants, birds, cars and anything else that might be in his line of sight. I swear he is listening to his own background track, but I can’t prove it.
“Hey dad, you want to ride through the puddles.” I said no. It was cold enough and I didn’t think puddles were going to be a nice addition to the day.
We turn down a side road and there are still no cars. He proceeds to swerve back and forth across the road. He then shows me how tough his bike is and goes off the road onto the grass, over someone’s rock wall and back on the road. I don’t know how many times I need to remind him to stay on the road, but here is one more. My advice does not seem to matter to him when it comes to staying on the road and also regarding looking where he is going. You would think he would have learned his lesson by now.
In fact, it was just this summer that he did something similar while on the bike path. My wife and two of the boys (before our daughter was born) went for a walk on the bike path. Keep in mind that a walk to my boys means bike ride. She walked, while my 4-year-old rode his bike. He was doing his usual swerve and look around style of riding. However, today it was going to catch up to him. At one point his tire caught the edge of the trail and off the road he went. It just so happened that it was also a hill. He went down the hill and hit a tree and fell off his bike. He survived, but got pretty beat up.
If that isn’t enough of a lesson for him, he still doesn’t look where he is going. “Hey dad, let’s race.” The whole time he is looking back at me and not in front of him while increasing speed. “Look where you are going.” He does for a moment and then looks back at me again. This he can get away with on the open road, but while walking it is trickier.
A few months back I took him to the gas station (a.k.a. milk store) to get milk. As we were leaving, he was walking behind me looking at the ground for treasures. All of a sudden I hear this loud metal thud. I look back and he is holding his head and crying. Of course, since I am compassionate, I laughed. He had walked right into a large, obviously placed, light pole. All I could do was try to look somewhat sympathetic while saying “look where you are going!”
This is how many people live their life. I mean how many people go through life, seemingly oblivious to the fact that there is a God who loves them? They might run into things, struggle to survive, attempt to make sense of life and fail, but still not acknowledge God. Why are you looking all around you and not paying any attention to where you are headed? That question all too often falls on deaf ears.
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.” - Psalm 1:1-2
Think about it. If you are one who has completely ignored the obvious, you have not just walked with sinners, but you have sat down and gotten rather comfortable there. When this happens you are headed for a similar fate as my son. The warnings are right in front of you, the path you are on is dangerous, but you have ignored the Word of God. Bibles need to be opened, read and the truth applied to lives. The Lord’s ways need to be sought after. It is essential to delight in the law of the Lord and to pay attention to the direction you are headed.
You might get away with swerving for a while, but eventually it will catch up with you and a crash is waiting.