Do you remember the excitement of getting a cool new gift for your birthday as a child? I’ve received a lot of great birthday presents over the years, and there are a few that stick out in my memory. One was when my parents put a swing set up for my sister and me for my birthday, another was getting my favorite Barbie, and a big one was getting the New Kids on the Block Stage to go with my Jordan Knight doll. Oh, the memories.
I’m reminded of these nostalgic birthday gifts because I recently got to experience something similar with my niece. She turned four a few days ago and my husband wanted to get her a gift. We're a little bit of a country family and we do a lot of four wheeling out at our house. So, naturally he got her a little Power Wheels four-wheeler. It's bright pink and purple, which are her favorite colors, and it has Minnie Mouse on it.
She was absolutely ecstatic when she came home and saw what her Uncle had gotten her for her birthday. She joyfully exclaimed, “Oh it's so beautiful. I love it!” The next thing out of her mouth of course was, "Can I ride it?" As soon as we could, we were outside breaking-in that bright pink, Minnie Mouse Power Wheels.
It’s been a long time since any of my kids were learning how to ride and steer a Power Wheels. And I had totally failed to realize my niece didn’t know how to just jump on and work her new toy. She did ok from the driveway to the road, but as soon as we made it to the actual road, she was all over the place. She was going from one end of the road to the other, off the road and back on to it, and several times she went into the ditch.
I’m not going to lie, there was some giggling going on by me because it was a bit funny. However, I did eventually stop giggling and help her. As I watched my niece, I realized she was going all over the place because she kept looking back or to the side as she was riding. And every time she looked back or to the side, guess what happened to the Power Wheels...... it went into the ditch. So, I kept telling her
And as we were walking, I couldn’t help but think how this is often what we are like in our own life when it comes to God and following His plan for us. He loves us so much that He created each one of us with a perfect plan for our life. He also loves us enough that when we look to Him and are seeking His direction, He will direct us down the right path for His plan for our life.
It feels so good to know we are following God’s path for our life and going in the right direction. But if you’re anything like me, it isn’t long before we begin to look back or the side. We look back at our past and doubt creeps in, and we wonder did we do things the right way. We begin to debate if we are going the right direction now or should we go back. Or we can let the things of our past begin to affect us on the path God has called us to now.
We look to the side and wonder if maybe that path is better than the one we’re on or think, "Oh that person over there is doing way better or has way more than us on their path." Before we know it, we lose sight of where God is trying to take us, and we end up going the wrong direction.
Sometimes even ending up in a ditch. And we wonder what happened - we were going the right direction how did we end up in a ditch? The beautiful thing about God is even when this happens, He is still right there with us willing to help us get back on His path.
But, gosh after ending up going the wrong direction or even in a ditch many times I have learned life is just easier when I stop looking back or to the side and keep looking ahead. Looking ahead to God and what He has in store for me on His perfect path and plan for my life.
It took my niece a few reminders to keep looking ahead and not back or to the side, but she eventually got it. And she had the time of her life riding down our little street. And you know what, God wants us to have the time of our life while we ride down the little street He has made for us.
I can’t wait to see what He has in store for me on my stree,t and I plan to try my best to keep looking ahead towards Him so I can find out.