When I was 10 years old, I got really good at riding my bike. In fact, I was so proficient that I wouldn’t use my hands to steer. I’d let my arms dangle by my side and use my body to balance. I remember one beautiful, sunny afternoon I was leisurely riding my bike around my neighborhood. A wonderfully long stretch of road extended right in front of my cul-de-sac, and I enjoyed taking a rest on my bike as gravity pulled me down the gentle descent.
With the sun hitting my face and the breeze blowing through my hair, I decided to close my eyes. I woke up several hours later on my couch. Bruises, scrapes and grass stains covered my body. I had fallen asleep at the wheel and crashed onto a small, thin patch of grass on the curbside. As I tried to pull my aching body up, I wondered how anyone could take a nap while riding a bike.
Now, as an adult, I can see how easy it is to “fall asleep at the wheel” of our lives. We become over-confident in our faith, relationships and responsibilities; and we allow gravity to pull our valuable seconds into aimless stagnation. We are tempted to close our eyes and slowly let the zeal for our God, husband, children, friends, health, church and purpose fall asleep.
I understand that God gives us much needed seasons of rest; but even in our respite, we can maintain a godly awareness of God’s Kingdom coming to fulfillment around us. We are called to be good stewards of the amazing people, possessions and passions He has given us; and we are to use our God-given free-will to promote God’s best in all aspects of life. Each day and every decision no matter how mundane or how small contains great significance and purpose. God’s wisdom and favor encompasses the singleness of one breath and the scope of all our breaths combined.
The fact remains that we will never be as proficient in life as Jesus. Jesus is perfect, and we can maintain a hunger for His likeness that is seasoned with grace and drenched in love. If we strive to achieve an honest perspective of our strengths and weaknesses, we’ll be able to rejoice in how far we’ve come while staying focused on where we need to go. There is immense joy in knowing that we still have much to learn, room to grow and time to change. Our lives aren’t complete until we see Jesus face to face; so until then, we need to keep our eyes on Him and our hearts on eternity.
“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead”(Philippians 3.12-13 NLT).