One of the hobbies that I enjoy is mountain biking. In the glossary of terms there are two words that, when combined, are the epitome of the sport. Those two words are "epic" and "singletrack". Epic is a term used to describe something that is legendary while singletrack refers to a narrow path used to ascend or descend an incline. More oft than naught, singletrack is a trail used by animals as they move between feeding locations, the terrain worn down by the years.
Our lives can often be akin to singletrack. Every once in a while, as we are barreling down the slope of our lives, we find ourselves faced with some sort of obstacle that, if handled appropriately, can add the adjective of epic to its description.
Several months ago, we faced one of those obstacles. As we were getting ready in the morning, all of us crowded in the bathroom, our daughter looked at her beautiful coffee colored skin and then at Sherri and my blinding white skin (long winter) and in her innocent quiet voice posed the following question:
"Mom, do you think my skin is beautiful?"
That is the mountain biking equivalent to a tree being in the trail. You have moments to process the situation and decide what you are going to do before your momentum carries you past the point of no return.
Parenthood, in all its beauty, is filled with these obstacles. We do our best to prepare for them by reading books, asking friends, scanning the internet, etc. But in the end that all may be thrown out the window by the very fact that such an obstacle is there and we must rely on something that is engrained in us. As Mother’s Day approaches, I am even more thankful of the fact that one of the engrained responses that both my and Sherri’s mother instilled in us is to turn to the word of God.
I don’t remember our exact response. Honestly, I was quite simply befuddled and amazed by the thought process of one so young (our daughter was barely 4 at the time). But in what was akin to Sherri doing a graceful hop with a little tabletop action, soaring gracefully over the tree, she reminded our daughter that God made her beautiful skin only for her.
Life is epic and it is singletrack. Sometimes we soar gracefully, sometimes we crash clumsily, and sometimes we simply endure. But as you ponder how to prepare, remember that the one thing that is unfailing, unending, and unshakeable is the love that God our creator has for us.
"So be strong, show yourself a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in His ways and keep His decrees and commands, his laws and requirements, as written in the law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go…" 1 Kings 2:2-3