This morning, I drop my car off at the repair shop. Generally they have a loaner for me, but not today. At first, this bums me out. Without wheels, I'll miss the Mom's Group book study that I participate in on Tuesday mornings. I LOVE this time with other women! Phooey.
I feel self-conscious as I pick my way across the dew-soaked grass. (Actually, it is frost-soaked, but has melted now, so the effect is more dewy than frosty.) I'm keenly aware of all the cars buzzing past me - and the fact that I have no sidewalk to walk on. I worry that all the drivers are wondering why I'm walking across the grass. How silly! I guess this is proof that if I've nothing to worry about, I'll just make something up!
At any rate, by the time my sneakers hit the sidewalk, I'm enjoying the walk. This is a true "fall" day. Trees are dropping their leaves all over the place. Many of them look like my kids before a bath - like they just stripped their clothes off and dropped them at their feet. I enjoy the naked trees standing in their piles of red, yellow, and orange all the way home.
After two hours at home, I hop on my bike and ride over to Xander's preschool where I'd left his bike before dropping off the car. He is SO excited to ride his bike the 12 blocks or so back home.
I'm less excited now. In fact, I'm a little nervous. Though the weather is still lovely - and the trees still naked - I am plumb pooped out after biking to the preschool - and am not entirely sure that I'll make it all the way back. And if I'm not sure that I'll make it back - what about Xander with his legs that are 1/2 the length of mine on his little one-speed bike?
No matter. We've not many other options - not if we'd like to get home.
We head back - and after 1 block (ONE BLOCK!!!), Xander pants, "I've gotta take a break!"
What?! At this rate, with 11 blocks to go - we may just get home in time to turn around and head over to the elementary school to pick up Tobey!
So, I tell him that ... and he's unaffected.
Then, I tell him that lunch is at home ... and he starts peddling!
I take the trip a little slower this time than I did coming, and find that a slower pace is much easier to maintain. I think we'll make it after all.
Xander seems to have improved from his initial bout of fatigue and is racing ahead of me. He wants to take all sorts of side trips. Each detour he sees - a driveway, a sidewalk, a parking lot - is calling his name. He wants to explore ALL of them.
I just want to make it home.
I tell him to stop taking all the little detours. He needs to preserve his energy for the trip home. He ought to stay on the path, not wear himself out on something that is taking him nowhere.
As I listen to him again, "Mom, please can I check out this little road over here?" it occurs to me that this is SO like me in life. God's got this path prepared for me. My destination is Home - but instead of listening (and minding) His directions always - I, too often, insist on checking out little side paths that will take me nowhere, that really just sap the strength and energy out of me. Strength and energy that was meant for His path, the right path.
Several times, Xander almost runs into me on his bike because he is so intent on looking down the forbidden paths - or because he's too focused on what his own feet look like on the bike pedals. This, too, is like me. When I take my eyes off Jesus, stop focusing on what and Who is ahead of me, I tempt disaster ... and sometimes, I fall ... and sometimes, I correct myself, avoiding the fall.
The happy ending to this all, of course, is that we made it home!!! Praise God that in my life journey, I too will make it Home. My prayer is that I might stay on the path before me, the right path, and that my eyes might be ever on the Prize.