Have you ever had a child speak such wisdom into you, that you actually felt like the child? Well that is what happened to me this past week, and I wanted to share it with you so that you could be blessed just like I was.
My daughter and I went on a six-mile adventure where she rode her bike and I ran. Now let me tell you this is NO EASY ROUTE. There are SIX large hills along this route, that most people would get off their bike and walk-up. On this day however, my daughter had made the decision all on her own to conquer these hills that have left her walking in the past.
Now, I was not aware of this goal she had made with herself. You see, she just received this bike for her birthday one week ago, and this larger bike made it a little more difficult to power through some hills that she had once powered right up. As we approached the first hill I could see her picking up speed, setting herself up for success, and just like that she powered through to the top. I congratulated her when we got there and she carried on without saying a word about her goal.
As we approached the second hill she rode back to me and told me she was going to ride to the top of the hill and wait for me. Now this hill was different than the first hill. The first hill was a steep climb and probably .1 of a mile. This hill we were approaching was much longer with a moderate climb but it is about a quarter of a mile long. As she barrelled away picking up speed I was cheering her on and sure enough she made it to the top and waited for me.
Once I made it to the top I asked her where she was getting all of her energy from and she said it wasn't as hard as it used to be. Interesting, considering she has only had the bike for about eight days, and even though she rides every day, could it be that much easier? We continued on our adventure not saying much about the hills, just enjoying the scenery and the beautiful day.
Then, she let me into her deeper thoughts...
As we approached our final hill, she looked at me and said, "Mom, going up hills is just like life. Sometimes it is really hard, but when you get to the top it is so much fun going down." WOW! Such wisdom from an eleven-year-old.
Well as we started up this final hill the wind picked up, we put our heads down, and trust me we were pushing hard encouraging each other because this was it. We were going to push to the top so we could have some fun going down celebrating all that we had pushed through. Until a car came over the hill causing her to lose focus and she stopped dead in her tracks.
And there you have it, going up hills is just like life. It is never easy, you can prepare all you want. Sometimes you are going to cruise up it, sometimes you are going to have to fight like crazy, and sometimes you are not going to make it.
But I have to ask you, what do you do in life when something stops you dead in your tracks? Do you quit?
Do you blame?
Do you turn around and go back down?
Do you get back on track and take it to the top?
Do you change things up and try again?
I am sure we can remember a time that we have done all of these things, but more importantly, What is that "go-to" response? You know, that response that kicks in with very little thinking. Is it the response that leaves you half-way up the hill or worse yet, back at the bottom. Or is it the response that leaves you head down, leaning forward pressing into that next step.
If you find yourself quitting, blaming, and/or turning around more often then not, I challenge you to take some time to reflect on this. It is not always easy to get to the top, and sometimes you will have to start over, but remember getting to the top is where the real fun is had.
Now I know you are probably wondering what happened to my daughter. You may be thinking she was devastated about not making it to the top. Nope, not at all. And here is one more life lesson - She got off her bike, ran up the hill, jumped back on, and enjoyed the ride down because well it was a bike ride and she is a kid, and she knew that single moment of getting off her bike did not define her she was ready for the fun on the other side of that hill.
Friends, may we be so focused on the fun that awaits us on the other side of the hill that we do not lose ourselves, or our dreams as we push to the top of the hill. It may not be as easy as she made it out to be, but I can guarantee it is not as hard as we sometimes make it out to be.
Enjoy the journey my friends - press in until you make it to the top and then enjoy the ride.