As this past Mother’s Day drew closer, my family asked the same question they’ve asked year in and year out: What would you like for Mother’s Day?

In years past I’d feigned indignation. “How can you ask me that?” I’d tease. “Shouldn’t you know what I want? A day of rest? Dinner out? My feet massaged?”

But this year I had a real answer. “I want a bike,” I said.

This time it was my husband who gave the look. “When was the last time you were on a bike?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” I answered. “But the rule of thumb is: once you’ve ridden one, you’ll always know how.” Thus, I’m certain, comes the old saying, “It’s like riding a bike.”

“What do you intend to do with it?” he asked.

“Ride it,” I said. “And get into better shape in the process.”

But what I didn’t expect with my new personal training toy is the spiritual lessons I’d glean or the spiritual muscles I’d tone. And then timing of four of them were crucial to the new path God and I were about to venture upon.

And Off We Go

First, let me tell you that it’s true… that whole thing about “riding a bike.” I don’t remember it being so difficult, but I kept the wheels steady, the wind at my face, and—when I grew too tired to push the pedals round and round and round—I remembered to stand, give it a few good pushes, and then coast. By the time I’d hit mile 3 (or was it 4?) I was enjoying the ride enough to smell the jasmine that hung thick and sweet on the vine and to even chat with God a little. Breathless, but chatting.

Within a few days, however, my bike time had become my “other” prayer time. And I became somewhat defensive and protective about this time. This is my time with God. I chat with him but mostly I listen.

Always Keep a Look Out Ahead

One particular morning within the past month as I was taking my ride, I coasted around a bend in the road, keeping my heart wide open to hear God’s whisper to it. From the turn, I jumped up on a sidewalk; this was a busy stretch of road and the cement is safer than the asphalt. Just as I did, I noticed some work that had apparently started the day before, after my last ride. Literally, about six feet of the sidewalk was missing, replaced by a large hole. I cut my eyes to the right. I had just enough time to slip onto the road without mingling with transportation of the four-wheeled persuasion.

Keep a look for what’s ahead, God whispered.

I nodded. In life, we never know what’s coming. But God does. His vision and perception of time is past, present, and future all at once. He knows what I did yesterday, he knows what I’m doing right now, and he knows what I’ll be doing in the future. Knowing this enables me to:

  1. Ask him daily to place my feet only on the paths where he would have me be
  2. Ask him to warn me through that check in my spirit when I take a wrong step or advance to a dangerous road
  3. Ask him (and this is always my special prayer) to “open the doors he wants open, close the doors he wants closed, and keep my hands off the doorknobs.”

That doesn’t mean I run around blindly. My job is to keep my eyes open but it is also to keep my spiritual heart and ears open as well.

Always Keep a Look Out Behind

I heard a car approaching from behind. Keep a look out for what’s coming up behind you…

So true, Lord. Sometimes life has a way of sneaking up on you. The most innocent of things can come back to bite us…um, in the tush. Sin has consequences. It’s forgiven when we run to the Father and plead the blood of the Son, but the consequences can remain.