As always, if you haven’t been keeping up with these weekly blogs, here is an overview of what they are about. Each day when I take my daughter out on here bike, there are number of repeat phrases I say. So far, we have paused briefly on:
“Stop looking backwards”
“Daddy is right here”
“You’re doing really well”
“Look where you want to go”
“Don’t look down”
And that brings us to today…
When you only have little legs and live in North Leeds, chances are, there will be hills that tire you out. Almost inevitably Daisy gets tired and is tempted to stop pedalling – so this phrase comes up a lot. That said, it isn’t the only time I say it. Sometimes when something of interest catches her eye she will just stop and take a look. The distraction has an effect on the legs as well as the eyes!
And then, interestingly, the other one is when she is going downhill. In theory the easiest part of cycling, but occasionally Daisy is cautious and puts the brakes on. Out of nowhere there is a crisis of confidence and some nervousness creeps in.
As usual, I’m going to pause on this for a moment and see how it might be something for us to consider in our lives and our walk with Jesus (or toward Him). Here’s the question, what is it that stops us in our tracks? God has great plans for us and a purpose for our lives. Jesus showed His incomparable love when He died for us and rose again. The Holy Spirit is here to be our helper and our source of power and strength. With all those on our side and in our corner then…what could possibly be big enough to knock us off our stride. What could stop us walking and keeping step with God, in our purpose?
Like Daisy, I think sometimes I get tired. Particularly during lockdown when each day seems so full and at a relentless pace! When we are tired, we can sometimes end up in ‘task’ mode or simply ‘survival’ mode – and when we do this, the 1st casualty is often relationships. Taking time to chat and laugh and share and cry…and just be safely-open with someone. I know that I have fallen into the trap sometimes of being busy, but needing to chat with someone – and so then the catch up becomes a tick-list item! Text them – done! Call them – check! Somehow the relational has become transactional. And the same happens with me and God. Right, do your bible reflection and then you can crack on with the day…and this is to my shame (but me and God are working on it!)
So, tiredness can break the flow of relationship that I was designed for – and God calls to me “Keep going!”, but then there is also distraction – which links in with the busyness of life. I want to chat with You God. I want to hear Your voice, but there is just a lot on at the moment…and I will get to You when I can. This is no different to Daisy being distracted. But it can stop me in my tracks. And the longer I do this, the more I miss out on time with God – listening and chatting, sharing with Him and hearing His voice talk to me. So again, I have to remind myself…“Keep going!”
And then there is the last reason I tell Daisy to “Keep going!” – when she has lost confidence and puts the brakes on…and I know I have done this. God has called me to do something, be something, walk a certain path, live a certain life…and then I decide I don’t have enough confidence to go for it. I mean, can I really trust God with my life? Sure, I can trust him for eternity, but what about my business and paying my bills? What about the ideas and dreams I have…can he really be trusted? Now, logically I know the answer, but in the moment (metaphorically speaking) …the brakes go on! So again, God has to tell me to “Keep going!”
Alternately I might have a complete crash of confidence. I know these happen regularly with work – I think the phrase is ‘Imposter syndrome’. You spend half your time worried you are not good enough, and the other half worrying you will be found out as not good enough! So, I stop. I decide I can’t do it, can’t carry on. And in those moments of self-doubt and worry, I need the voice of God to encourage me to “Keep going!”
Whatever your day holds, your future holds or your past holds, the bible tells us that God created you and knows you by name. It says he knit you together in your mothers’ womb. It says that he has plans for you to prosper you and not to harm you. It says that He is more for you, than anything that could ever be against you. It says that He loves you and has made a way.
Putting all that together (plus a load other encouragement and promises in the bible) and adding the words He wants to speak to you today, my final word on this – to cheer you and challenge you – is, no matter what…Keep going!
You can catch up with all Nathan’s blogs by following this link https://www.moortownbaptistchurch.org.uk/category/nathans-blog