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Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Lead Rider

This summer the kids and I have started taking morning bike rides. We stick pretty close to our mile-section, but have found ways to ride that avoid traffic and yet give us about a four mile excursion. I tow our two-year-old in a Burley two-wheeled cart and the other three ride their bikes.

On our first ride, I felt that it was safer to be at the back, keeping close watch on my line of riders. I tend to worry about traffic and since we are new to family rides I know my kids lack experience with riding in places other than our idyllic cul-de-sac. The kids took turns leading and I called out instructions, "Stop at the corner!" "Keep to the right!" "You're too far ahead!"

It was a disaster. The kids bickered over whose turn it was to be leader. They argued, bumped into each other's bikes, strayed from the curbside (we ride in the street only on quiet side streets), and generally caused me to be anxious about the whole experience.

Fed up, I took the lead. Never mind that I can't have my eyes on them at all times, I scowled to myself. I'm leading this train!

And now we have a marvelous time. No problems at crossings. I assign one of the older girls to the rear position with instructions to tell me if someone is lagging or struggling. I glance back frequently. And they follow. Beautifully.

At the risk of sounding corny or sappy, I have to say that I noticed a parallel in my mothering. I tend to fall into a habit of coming along behind, scolding, barking out instructions, pointing obnoxiously, feeling frustrated when things aren't done right. It makes me critical and negative. Instead I should take the lead, showing by example the right way, training them in the way to live, and providing correction and discipline when they fail to follow.

I'm planning to lead the ride from here on out. But, fortunately, I have a Rider ahead of me giving me a path to follow.

Thank you, Jesus.

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