Look Out For That Tree By Lynn Moffett

    Turning 6, my son, Alan, yearned for a bike. Dick had a new business that demanded every penny we earned. Ever an innovator, he found a used one, tuned the spokes, polished the handlebars until they shone and painted it. We couldn't have found anything better.

    Now came the challenge. This child climbed up on tables and room dividers at 5 months. He manufactured mischief faster than I could blink. He never sat still and he excelled in any sport. Teaching him to ride a two-wheeler should be a cinch. I'd already done this with his older sister, so this lesson couldn't be that hard.

    We went out on the front sidewalk. He climbed aboard. I held the back of his seat and steadied him all of four steps before he waved me away. Balance was no problem. Three or 4 feet later, he slammed into the tree in the parkway.

    Anger reddened his face and his lips thinned into a tight line. He wasn't used to failing at anything.

    "Don't worry. You'll do it next time," I assured him.

    He yanked his bike off the ground, examined every inch and discovered a scratch on the front fender. His chin set, he marched his newest  possession back to the driveway, lifted it and slammed it down with a bounce facing the way he had come.

    Back on board, we started again. He hit the tree and went down harder. Without a word, he bullied the bike back to the starting point, threw his leg over the bar and dared me to help again.

    "Calm down, son."

    He hit the tree.

    I took a deep breath. "I think you are focusing on the tree instead of where you are going. Try looking down the sidewalk to the Jones' house."

    We spent an hour. Every time, the same thing happened. He couldn't force his eyes away from the tree. Every day for two weeks, he tried. And every day he hit the tree.

    I must admit to holding back laughter. All I could think was the line from the cartoon "George of the Jungle." I wanted to call out, "Look out for that tree!" I didn't.

    How often do I try to repeatedly do the same thing expecting a different outcome? It's all about focus. No matter what is happening, what circumstance challenges me, I'm apt to concentrate all my effort on the problem rather than the answer I know so well.

    I have to tell myself every time, "Keep your eye on the Lord, not the circumstance."

    It isn't easy for me. But when I remember and refocus, peace reigns and solutions present themselves.

    "Look out for that tree!"

    Colossians 3:2 (NKJV) says, "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth."

    Lynn Moffett is Treasurer for Wolf Creek Christian Writers Network and a regular contributor for A Matter of Faith in the Pagosa Springs SUN.




    Helene says (Nov 1, 2022):

    Great lesson! Loved "he bullied his bike."

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