THIS WAS MY BANANA SEAT BIKE
This was my favorite bike as a little girl. I loved it because I got it for my birthday. It wasn’t a hand me down (popular for us 3rd born children) and it reminded me of a creamcicle:) It said “Sundance” on the side and I thought it was just beautiful. On that bike, I rode all over my neighborhood with friends. I loved it. As an adult, I still look back at this bike with fond memories. One of my favorite is the day my brother, Jamie taught me to ride it. My previous bike had training wheels and squeaked loudly as I rode it down the sidewalk. But this bike had no training wheels, so it was time to learn to ride a 2 wheeler. I can still remember the instructions Jamie gave me as he ran along behind me holding onto that silver bar on the back of the seat. “Look straight ahead, don’t look to the side or back at me or you’ll wreck”. I followed his directions, and happily, when he let go, I stayed upright…..most of the time.
Here I sit, 30 something years later, and I think about the wisdom of those directions. He didn’t realize at the time the wisdom of his words, and how they applied not to just riding a bike, but so many things in life. It’s even in the Bible! Check out this verse I read today:
“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.” Proverbs 4:26-27
How often do we get distracted from what matters in life? Looking to the distractions on our left, or on our right. The things that take our eyes and minds off of what is important, what is righteous, what is lasting? The petty things that ultimately won’t matter, yet keep us from doing what we’re called to do. And what happens to us when we get side tracked? We slow down. We slip into the rubble, We fall. We slowly begin to head the wrong way….off the path.
The path won’t be a literal straight line, but it will be the right path. When I learned to ride that bike, I missed a very important point initially- to turn when the road turns. I recall a day in my early learning that I was so focused on going straight, that I failed to turn with the sidewalk. And guess what happened….I ran right into a tree. I was focused on the wrong thing- the tree. I remember even thinking so hard- don’t hit the tree, don’t hit the tree, and I was so focused on the tree- I wrapped my bike around it! I ran right into what I was focused on. I also learned not to look too closely in front of me. If you look directly at the path in front of you, you’ll oversteer. You’ll notice every detail of the sidewalk, swerve to miss the slightest pebble, but miss what’s further out- where you’re really headed!
I hope the lessons I learned on a banana seat bike will encourage you today. Don’t be distracted by what’s happening on your left or right. Look ahead at the big picture of where you’re going. Stay strong and faithful, and follow the path God lays out for you. Make Him your focus. Not the path. Not the tree. Not the people bickering on your left. Not the financial crisis on your right. Trust Him as you make the turns he lays out, even when it’s a turn you don’t want to make because it looks like a frightening road. He’s taking you where He wants you. Right to Him.