What I Write About

I write about the infinite number of intersections between every day life and the good news of the God who has come to get us.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Riding Training-Wheels Free, Lamp-Post Fixations, and Thinking on More than Fluffy Dandelions

This week here in the south east, we had our first tastes of spring--it's a little late for us and we're bitter.

The kids and I decided to seize the day (and celebrate the fact that my students are on spring break) and I took them to the park. My six year old was feeling so excited about spring's arrival that he decided he was ready to ditch the training wheels on his bicycle.

The park where we go for playing/biking has a great sidewalk path that loops around the playground elements. Davis was eager to bike training-wheel-free around this path. And he did extremely well.

The problem came when he would get close to one of the wooden light posts that are stationed every twenty five yards. When he would approach one of these posts, he would fix his eyes on the lamp post in fear and trepidation...and steer right into it. He managed at least a half-dozen head-on collisions with light posts that he simply could not take his eyes off of.

Perhaps the applications here are obvious, but I will make them anyway: we will "steer into" what we set our eyes, mind, heart on. Our lives will take the arc and shape of the things that have captured our imaginations--be they fears (like Davis' fear of the lamp posts) or dreams or hopes.

And so the biblical writers were of course brilliant in their call: "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus!" shouts the writer of Hebrews. And Paul says, "whatever is good, right, noble--think on those things!"

That the latter verse sometimes makes us feel like we should only think about fluffy bunnies and puppy dogs and dandelions is indicative of how shallow our imaginations are.

The things that are good, right and noble are infinite in their variety and will unfurl into even greater variety into eternity. All that is corrupt or banal has three predictable plot lines (sex, power, money) and will one day be no more.

We are all becoming beings. What type of people we become is largely dictated by what we set our sites on. We see that so clearly in the people who drive us crazy: the work-aholic friend or the family member who obsessively worries about (i.e. fixes their eyes on) every possible threat. Some of us are much less thorough in our critique of ourselves.

But I'm hoping for a life of more than head-on collisions from pole to pole, from fleeting goal to fretful worry. I'm hoping for a trajectory that leads me somewhere that's eternally good.

And I'm hoping for a couple more nice days before spring break ends. Me and Davis gotta' get back out there and get this biking thing (and those lamp posts) licked before summer.

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