A few months ago, I had fifteen small stitches taking out of my shin after having a minor surgical procedure to remove my very gross – I mean, my varicose – veins. Between the vein surgery and the fact that it has been hotter than Hades, I haven’t ridden my bike in about four months. With a very faint hint of fall in the air, tonight seemed like a good night to get back in the saddle – the bike saddle.
I filled my water bottle, aired up the tires, downloaded new worship songs and off I went. It felt wonderful to be riding again. So I kept riding. And kept riding. When I turned the corner to begin heading home, my fancy App on my phone told me that I had already ridden ten miles – and I wasn’t riding a bike built for that!
Uh oh! Though the ride home was only another two or three miles, I was ready to be home. But I determined to ride full out the whole way. I had just enough water, just enough daylight and just enough energy to make it home. To aid in my final push, I advanced the song on my playlist to a song I knew would motivate and energize me as I pedaled the last few miles.
I knew the song had something to say about breaking off chains and being free in the Lord. For a minute, I momentarily and mentally paused and prayed that my bike chain wouldn’t break off! Maybe I should have picked another song.
Anyway, I was pedaling fast and singing out loud. I was feeling good and worshiping as I rode. The last turn was in sight when all of a sudden three little Chihuahuas ran out into the street and started chasing me. I kept pedaling – trying to dodge them – when all of a sudden one jumped up and grabbed a hold of my shoe and did a few turns of the pedal with me. I slowed my speed, stopped singing and only concentrated on the fierce force of the tiny dogs. They were chasing me, nipping at me, barking and throwing me off my course.
Eventually, I got past them and continued on with my ride home but the distraction zapped my energy, concentration, and mental state. In a matter of seconds, the little dog hanging onto my foot got me looking down at the road and stopped me from worshiping.
What next? I took a drink of water, focused on the worship music, looked down the road ahead and kept pedaling.
I thought about the many times when all seems to be going right and then some little or loud or yappy or fierce creature nips at us and gets us off of our track of life. Sometimes it is a big, foreboding creature and we end up in a ditch on the side of the road. Sometimes it is a mere annoyance that makes us swerve or pause.
There have been the days when I wake up and purpose to have an organized, peaceful home and then something happens to upset that applecart. I might start out my day thinking I will have an “at home” day and make headway on the piles of laundry and mail. Then either the dishwasher decides to leak all over the floor. Or a child stays home sick with a stomach virus (which only adds to the laundry piles.) Or I get a call about an errand that needs to be run “NOW!” Then, at the end of my day, the laundry is still piled high, the mail still lays unopened, dinner isn’t prepared, AND the dishes are oozing out of the sink and my nerves are frazzled. It’s usually about that time that the family comes home to find something much less than peace – they find absolute chaos.
Don’t they know I’ve been pedaling all day with a Chihuahua on my foot?
When I have days (or weeks) like that, I try to do like I did on my bike last night. I shake off the Chihuahua, silence the others yapping at my tires and focus on the road ahead. I take a drink of the Living Water that is Jesus Christ, make sure His words are once again filling my head as I focus on the prize ahead and keep pedaling.
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
Ever have Chihuahuas nipping at your heels? How do you shake it off and get back on track? Let me know in the comments.