We recently taught our son how to ride his bike without training wheels. I'll be honest, I had my doubts about his readiness. He tends to look anywhere but where he is going. The sky, his back tires, the flowers he just rode past that he decided he wanted to pick. Anywhere but straight ahead.
But the day had come, we decided it was time to take the training wheels he had taken such advantage of off. After a few minutes of practicing with our help, he decided he wanted to do it on his own. He giddily hopped on his bike, his motor sound effects were in full force as we gave him a push.
In a few seconds he made it across the driveway with our voices ringing out over and over with the warning: "Eyes Up!". Needless to say he and his bike made a few detours.
We pulled him aside and explained that he would keep crashing if he didn't look up. We stood at one end of the driveway and told him to keep his eyes on us and ride all the way to us. This time it worked. He wobbled and "VROOOMED" his way all the way to us without a detour or crash.
I can't help but think that there's probably lesson for all of us in that.
Right now, life is filled with all kinds of unknown and uncharted territory. It's easy to have our attention drawn all over the place. It's an information overload and we find ourselves looking this way and that way - enamored by and overwhelmed by everything that we see, hear, and think. As a result, we can easily find ourselves crashing or taking detours we don't really want to be taking. Fear, depression, and anxiety can overtake us. But our Father calls out to us - reminding us to keep our eyes up, to look to Him.
We might still find ourselves wobbling and we might still struggle, but when we fix our eyes on Him we will find ourselves focused on the one who deeply cares for and loves us. We will see His goodness and His wisdom. We will hear His voice and His direction. We will be encouraged to keep going - to keep striving. Ultimately we will find ourselves closer to Him. And there's great joy in that.
So today, in the midst of all that is going on, remember "Eyes Up!".
"My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart...Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways."
- Proverbs 4:20-21;26