I was recently talking with a young woman who was bemoaning the fact she was having difficulty getting a job. “I have the credentials,” she said. “I have my interviews, they go well, they say they will be calling me back—they’re sure—and then a few days later I learn I didn’t get the job. It makes no sense.”

I encouraged her to contact one of the jobs she recently been passed up for. “Come right out and ask,” I suggested.

She did. In fact, she called more than one. She called three. Do you know why—straight down the line—she was passed up for the job? Because her potential employers checked out her MySpace.com and other online accounts. There were photos and messages she thought were cute at the time of posting but now thought better of. When she cleared out the online trash, she was almost immediately employed.

Watch for Others Along the Way

As I continued forward, I dipped into a little neighborhood filled with winding roads and shaded by large oaks. It’s my favorite part of the ride, but with the roads curving as they do, I have to keep a watch for who might be ahead of me. As popular as this neighborhood is with bikers, it’s even more so with walkers and runners.

Sometimes those walkers are older. They are…shall we say…strolling. If I don’t stay alert for them, I will either run them over or they will force me onto the spongy grass or into oncoming traffic.

Life is like that, the Lord whispered again. Sometimes it’s the people we encounter who can trip us up along the way.

I thought of the admonishments I’d given to my children when they were teenagers. “Who you hang around with will either hold you up or bring you down. Be careful who you walk next to.”

The good Lord knows the same is true for this grandmother as it is for any young person.

There Will Always Be Poop Along the Way

Our neighborhood policy is that if you “walk your dog” you “clean up behind your dog.” All along the way folks amble behind their four-legged furry friends. They have a leash in one hand and a plastic bag in the other.

But, sadly, not everyone pooper-scoops. Some people prefer to leave it behind for unsuspecting bike riders like me to ride over. Yuck.

No matter how well you plan it out…that tiny whisper again…part of living is running into some poop every now and then.

We watch out for it as best we can but sometimes, well, it’s just too late. And then we have a mess to clean up. Fortunately, there’s water from the hose at home to spray down the tires or wash off the shoes.

There’s also the Living Water who manages to wash the messes we step into or ride over in our spiritual walk (or ride) as well. We can’t always avoid the poop but we can always run to the Water.

Keep Your Wheels Pointed Toward Home

As I turned the final corner that morning I realized that from the moment I’d left the house, the wheels of my bike had been—in effect—pointed toward home. Always remember where your spiritual home is…and run to the Father in prayer. No matter what, keep that focus. I am here. I am at Home. And I am waiting to chat with you.

Yes, Lord!

I arrived back and the house ready to delve into the Scriptures, excited at what God had told me during our bike ride together. I jotted down a few notes, then showered, changed, and headed back to into my office. Not a minute later my husband came in, looking quite pale.

And frightened.

Within the span of a few words and minutes, I was calling 9-1-1. The next few days were filled with doctors and nurses, personal care technicians, cardiologists and their array of tests, phone calls to family and friends, prayer unlike anything I’ve ever felt before and—finally—heart surgery.