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On Sheep and Bicycles - Have I written this before?

April 17, 2008 - 12:12 AM

A long time ago, I wrote of how the boys know that when on a bike ride and I say their name they must immediately stop their bikes. One time, thanks to Zeke knowing my voice and obeying it, it saved the life of a then little 3-year-old Zeke with training wheels when a car came rushing out of a blind alley.

Now we have 3 kids, 2 on bikes who ride fast and one who is just starting on training wheels. Over time the rules have not changed: stop at all intersections, wait for the "clear," always look in driveways and of course, stop immediately if you hear mom call your name. Covering all those instructions, something that I love and am ever so thankful the boys have always done, is that they obey me - first.

Though I long for, and am working hard at having, our children growing in their obedience and respect for other adults over the other adults, they need to heed our instructions first no matter what.  Most definitely, when it comes to our bike riding on busy streets at these ages, it is all about "obey me first."

Flashback... I remember driving to work one day on Lincoln Way (4 lane busy road through Ames). In the left lane was a whole back log of traffic (me included), the right lane clear (why I don't know). A car going the opposite direction from us wanted to take a left across our backlog of cars. The car ahead of me waved him through.

What the car ahead of me did not know was that there was an impatient driver a few cars back who swerved out of the left lane ( I just happened to look in my rear view mirror at the exact moment he did this) and came barreling full speed (ie more than 35mph) ahead. Nothing I could do to stop it, I watched in horror as the person taking the left was absolutely demolished and spun around by the guy in the right lane. Yes, the driver ahead of me was nice enough to wave the person over, but they were not checking in all the blind spots.

Tonight riding to church, it made this mama so proud. They stop, before the red concrete, and wait. Sometimes Miriam and I take a while but we are still coming and the boys never have to look back because they know we are coming. Car after car will wave them on. They stand there and shake their heads with an emphatic "NO." Car after car will wave them on again. They don't move... they attempt to direct traffic like a traffic cop, waving their hands to the sides... but they do not move. They don't get close to the road and they don't move and they are not even tempted to move. When the cars finally see me coming they think the boys will move, but they don't. When I say "clear," the boys move.

In theory, I know the drivers are just trying to be nice, waving on the boys to go ahead... they think it is safe. Do they see the speeding car behind them? Do they really have the boys on all angles? Do they truly know what is best for them? Do they understand all their strengths and weaknesses? Do they love the boys as much as we do? Do they see the bigger picture for their little lives? No.

"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." (John 10:1-5)

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." (John 10:27-3

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Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
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