“…But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Pedal Fast. Don’t Look Back.
Our little firecracker of a daughter decided one night that she wanted to ride her bike. This one is a determined little girl, I tell ya’. Once she makes up her mind, it is quite hard to stop her. This can be great or horrible…depending on the circumstance! Parents of strong willed children, you know what I’m talking about!
We went out to a straightaway parking lot, set out, and began the journey. So many wobbles…so many insecurities…so many questions about how it might work. So. Many. FEARS. Fears that flooded her heart just as quickly as the courage came just thirty minutes earlier. We’d push her off, shaky and unbalanced, and instead of grabbing that bike by the handles and pedaling forward, she would look back. And what did looking back, even if for a second, do? It took her littlest bit of steady that she had and crushed it. Sometimes that look back caused her to fall, sometimes it would cause her to stop, sometimes she would be fine, but then cry of uncertainties, sometimes she would just simply give up.
On one of her last tries before grasping the oh-so-treasured bike riding talent, my husband yelled in typical coach voice: “Come on, girl! Pedal fast and don’t look back!”
She took that final piece of wise advice…pedaled fast…and didn’t look back.
Guess what. She kept on going. No training wheels, no doubt, no unsteadiness. Pure and simple; pedaling fast, and not looking back. And my friends, she was scared to death because well, it’s scary not leaning on what was and staring uncertainty in the face knowing you might crash and burn. It is absolutely, downright frightening.
She learned to ride her bike that night. She became a pro in about 15 minutes flat. But on the way home, I kept replaying in my head what my husband had said, “…pedal fast and don’t look back.”
Have mercy, you guys. I have been really convicted of this truth. So convicted, that I found The Lord working on my heart and bringing to light the areas of my life where I was looking back in the past and pedaling slower to prevent falling; choosing not to look forward and walk with Him in courage and faith. And let’s do the math here; what happens when one looks back, refusing to look forward, and pedals slower on a bike? Their balance and focus is thrown completely off.
FEAR is the enemy’s greatest tool. When fear is believed and adapted in our daily lives, every goal and ambition is given up on, every thought is halted, and every good deed is questioned. Fear disables. Fear questions. Fear instills doubt. It truly makes you lose your balance and fall, and then makes you wish you had kept on pedaling living in regret and disappointment. Fear is a classic four letter word. If there’s anything worth fighting against, it’s fear.
One of my favorite verses is from Deuteronomy: “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,” Deuteronomy 31:8. God has ordained our steps. He has been where we haven’t, and is where we are, and has been where we were. This verse not only comforts me, but gives me peace in knowing that He knows what I need because He has truly walked it. I can hand over my thoughts and worries for the day, the moment, the minute, and the second because He is The Great Provider, and one who never lets us down on His promises. When I feel that fear and doubt creeping in, which it tend to normally do, I recite this verse, open my hands, and give it to Him. Easy? Not all the time. This simple act can be one of the scariest we do. Worth it? Yes. Besides, God can handle the things in front of me much better than I can on my own.
Watching my daughter overcome a fear that night was surprisingly life giving. You first saw the fear, the uncertainty, the temptation to quit, hang it up, and call it a day. You saw that temptation in her eyes to say “no more, I’m done, mom.” And then, in a quick turn of events, you saw grit, determination, and a willingness to ignore the fear that yelled at her in the face. She chose to face her fear head on, and she kept going with not one look back behind her. She never again looked back at what was; she now knows what IS. She left the old behind, and started pedaling with the new, even though it was scary. Pedal fast, don’t look back.
What is causing you to look back? What do you think you can’t overcome? What goal or endeavor are you afraid to go toward? What hurt or hangup is causing you to peek over your shoulder disabling you to move on? I encourage you (and myself), to pedal fast, and don’t look back. Follow The Holy Spirit and His prompting, move from the past, the lies that the enemy might have told you, and go forward. Keep your eye on the prize, and like our girl, your focus and balance will be sustained by The One who loves you deeply and will never let you fall.
Pedal fast, my friends. Don’t look back.