Warm sun, cool air, shaded trails, and each other. Seemed near perfect for a 6 mile family bike ride. After reaching our halfway point and heading back home, I lagged behind with one of my boys who had lost his momentum.
The entire first half of the ride he was focused on one thing and one thing only. When we stopped at the halfway point, we would have a drink of water and a tasty snack. His mind thought of little else than the goodness of what awaited him at the turnaround.
As you might imagine, once we headed back, all he could think of was reaching home. However, at home there was no “reward” waiting for him. All he could see was the long 3 mile journey ahead.
Whimpering, he said, “I just want to be home. My legs are tired. This is too hard.”
“It’s not too hard. The trail is completely flat. We can go as slow as you want. I won’t leave you behind. Let’s just enjoy the ride.”
His pouting and whimpering increased. “I can’t enjoy the ride. I just want to be done with it!”
“Look around you for a minute. Look at what all you are missing because you are so focused on the negative. Look at how the sun is hitting those leaves. Listen to the birds singing a song just for you. Look at all that God created that is surrounding us. Look at this gift of time we have together to get to ride by ourselves and talk just you and me.”
“I know, mom. I’m just tired. I can’t hear the birds singing….”
“It’s because you are too busy complaining. Stop right here and listen.”
As we stopped, the birds chirped a beautiful tune in perfect harmony.
“It’s like God is singing a song right to you.”
A smile broke out across his face.
“You know, sweetie, the journey really is the best. The journey is where it all happens. Just think. When we get home from the bike ride, we are done. We are home, right? The journey will be over. When you think back to today’s ride, you likely won’t remember how tired your legs were or how hot and thirsty you were. You will laugh at our reactions when riding by snakes lurking in the grass. You will remember dad’s silly songs and chuckle. You will remember jumping off the rocks with Andrew. You will have fun, funny stories. From the journey, not the destination. It all happens on the journey!”
I don’t even know if he was listening anymore. The more I talked, the more I realized I was speaking for myself as much as I was speaking for him.
Our perspective changes the moment entirely. Our viewpoint makes all the difference in the world. How many times have I caught myself irritated about something only to realize the problem was my own perspective, how I looked at the situation. When I changed my perspective, everything appeared different.
Psalm 19:14 “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”