Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Watch Where You're Going!
I've noticed something about children who are learning to ride a bike without training wheels. Some of them focus their vision down toward their feet and hands, and end up tumbling off the bike because they are not watching where they are going and it throws their balance off. Others are so determined not to run into trees or telephone poles that they stare at the object they want to avoid and steer right into it. After a few crashes and spills, most kids get the idea that they have to look ahead to where they want to end up. I see similarities in my own experiences as I've worked with struggling learners. Sometimes I am so focused on what I don't want to have happen that I mentally steer right into it and crash into anxiety, fear, and discouragement. I find myself obsessing over what's not going well and how to fix it. I think for the millionth time that I'm failing at the most important things in my life. I see a cloud for every silver lining. I look down instead of up and lose my balance. The future is overshadowed by the present. If there are good things, they are buried beneath my pile of thoughts about all the mistakes and things I need to work on. I think I need to try harder. Crash! I fear I will never succeed. Crash! I'm not sure I can go the distance. Crash and off the bike I go! When this happens, I need to take a deep breath and make a decision to find the good things. They are there. I may have to push some of the obstacles aside in order to see them, but they are no less real when I'm not aware of them than when I am. Instead of concentrating on the obstacles in front of me and the things that are not going my way, I need to watch where I'm going. Appreciate all the things I love about my kids. Not miss the beauty in life just because there's ugliness, too. I need to lift my head and see where I am headed. Be deliberate. Take in a bit more of the big picture. I love the Bible verse in Psalms 27:13, "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." I want to see that goodness more clearly than the things I crash into!