Bright Spot: Don't look too far down the road

·3 min read
Pastor Rick Sams
Pastor Rick Sams

I was cruising down the sidewalk on my bike, without a care in the world. I looked about 30 feet ahead to the bike rack where I intended to park. I should have been looking 3 feet ahead. Two steps just appeared out of nowhere. I hit the brakes and the next thing I remember was hitting my head and shoulder − hard − on the sidewalk.

I was cruising down the sidewalk on my bike, without a care in the world. I looked about 30 feet ahead to the bike rack where I intended to park. I should have been looking 3 feet ahead. Two steps just appeared out of nowhere. I hit the brakes and the next thing I remember was hitting my head and shoulder HARD on the sidewalk.

My first thoughts: “I just cracked my cranium.” Then: “It didn’t hurt!” And, third: "Thank God for high-tech helmets!”

The next day I called four people I love who don’t wear bike helmets. I begged them to start.

Later, I wrote some “Reflections On A Wreck” in my journal. Here they are.

Am I as passionate about telling people about the life-saver and life-giver, Jesus, as I am about telling the life-saving power of a bike helmet? (John 3:16; 10:10; 11:25; 14:6)

Second, do I too often look 30 feet (or 30 months) down the road when I should be focusing on 3 feet?

There is a reason Jesus warns us: “Don’t worry about tomorrow …” It’s because “each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

There is a reason why “the day” is the most commonly used unit of time in the Bible by far: “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

“God’s mercies are new every day.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

“Teach us to number [invest and not lose one] our days aright and gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)

“Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11).

And on and on.

I know the Bible also teaches there is wisdom in planning. But we are always supposed to do that after we ask the Lord for guidance. Then do what He says. Third, hold our plans loosely, allowing Him to change them.

In 1913, into an endless ocean of commencement speeches writer William Osler threw these wise words as a life jacket to wide-eyed Yale grads. Likely most were looking far beyond the horizon: “Our main task is not to do what lies dimly at a distance, but what lies clearly at hand.” Maybe instead of us awkwardly asking grads we don’t know well at their open houses: “What are you going to do?” Maybe we should ask: “What are you going to do TOMORROW?”

“His Word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path.” (Psalm 119:105) Ancient lamps only shined their lights on the next few steps.

So walk in the light you have. Especially when that light is shining on the steps you’re not supposed to ride your bike down!

Rick Sams is pastor emeritus of Alliance Friends Church.

This article originally appeared on The Alliance Review: Bright Spot: Don't look too far down the road