“Caden, quit worrying about them and follow your path!”
We were about 9 minutes into our 58 minute bike ride (yes, I kept track…I had a baby bird to feed) when those words spewed from my mothering mouth.
It would have been nice if those words could have stayed put until a little later in our “adventure,” but they didn’t, which meant I had about 49 minutes to marinade in those words that were (AGAIN) meant for him…NOT FOR ME!
He was pedaling so well. He was focused, and he was steering straight. He had both hands on the handles. His head was facing forward, and his feet were secure on the pedals. He was CRUISIN’! With no distractions, he was well on his way to the “spooky forest” path and makin’ good time.
UNTIL…those two, big boys passed him on their super cool (too small for them) bikes.
They came from behind, yelled “we’re on your left,” blew past us, and then took the first left in front of us.
Eyes diverted. Steering wheel turned. Head jerked.Feet stopped.
Caden was completely thrown off course.
In the middle of the intersection, still staring in their direction, he turns to me and assaults me with a battery of questions.
“Mommy, why are they going that way?”
“Why aren’t they going on our path?”
“Where are they going?”
“Can we go that way?”
He was derailed, disturbed, and no longer desiring his adventure to the “spooky forest.”
Since we were in the middle of the intersection when these questions erupted, I quickly said, “Caden, quit worrying about them and follow your path!”
Surprisingly, he was jolted from his biking stupor and quickly pedaled toward the next sidewalk. I was slightly shocked by how quickly he had been redirected toward our path until we reached the other sidewalk, and he began repeating all of his unanswered questions.
As I attempted to assuage his questions with hypothetical reasons for their left-hand turn, I found myself both irritated and empathetic to his distraction.
Why DOES it matter why they are going that way?
Why DOES it matter that they aren’t going on your path?
Why DOES it matter where they are going?
Why DO you no longer like your path?
Yea, Jessica! Good questions!
Why…why…why are you SO concerned about the path of others?
Why DO you begin to DOUBT the path you are following when others take a different course?
Why DO you start to COMPARE the path you are navigating when others aren’t following your trail?
Why DO you become DISSATISFIED with the path you desire when others look content in their direction?
Why DO you get DISCOURAGED about the path you are taking when others aren’t affirming your road?
These questions swirled in my head and penetrated my heart as we ventured down our path and through the “spooky forest.”
I wish I could tell you that I ended our adventure with great solutions, awesome answers, and quick fixes, but I’m not sure I did.
Instead, I think I wound up with one, simple, much-needed reminder.
KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PATH THAT YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED TO FOLLOW BECAUSE WHEN YOU DON’T, YOUR EYES GET DIVERTED, YOUR STEERING GETS TURNED, YOUR HEAD JERKS, YOUR FEET STOP, AND YOU ARE NO LONGER MOVING.
It makes perfect sense why they put blinker hoods on horses. Jockeys don’t want their horses focused on the horses behind or beside them; they want their horses looking STRAIGHT down the track toward the finish line.
And though I will refrain from purchasing blinker hoods for both myself and Caden, I want to start running this race of life that has been “marked out for [me]” while “fixing my eyes on Jesus,” not others. –Hebrews 12:1-2