Two of the things that inspired me the most this past year weren’t lessons I learned by reading good books or by watching stories brilliantly conveyed on the silver screen. They were a couple of sentences from my brother and my sister.
They were uttered in two different settings: one on my brother’s blog, and one by my sister as we talked about the Episcopal Church. But when I put them together, I found something that’s no less than a life manifesto.
My sister, when speaking of church, and all the disaster that was going on around us, shrugged and said, “Yeah, well, that’s what happens when you don’t follow Jesus.” Simple and devastating. (My sister, btw, combines candor and compassion in one rare personality. She’ll be the first to tell you the hard truths, but also the first to help you out of any hole you’ve dug yourself into.)
My brother, on the other hand, reminded me of something my dad taught us when we were learning to do downhill mountain-biking back when we were teenagers: “pick your line and follow it; the bike can take you over more than you think it can.” (This was the kind of downhilling where you’d ride a ski-lift up to the top of a mountain in the summer, and then ride your bike, exhilaratingly fast, all the way back down, taking fire roads and singletrack in criss-cross through the forest and over the granite ridges.)
What he meant was that when you’re downhilling, you need to look where you want to go (not where you don’t) and then let the bike’s momentum do the work. You have to trust to the line you’ve picked and to the speed you’ve picked up. Your momentum will carry you over roots and rocks and bumps, if you just choose well and then let yourself go.
Both of those things resonated in my mind for a long time. They’re resonating still. Together, what I get is that I need to look where I’m going – at Jesus – and then I just need to go.
peace of Christ to you,