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Where is my life headed?

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This morning I rounded the corner of a new neighborhood walking the dogs. A little girl wearing a pink bike helmet walked a small pink bicycle. Her Dad balanced his cycle pedaling inches at a time.

"Oh, learning to ride a bicycle?"

"Yep, she just had an accident. She's got to get back up on the horse."

Hanging her head, she glanced up at me and then focused back down at the pavement.

She wasn't positioning herself to ride again. She walked beside her bicycle pushing it as if it were a pink metal pony.

Haven't we all been there, done that?

Falls hurt. Who wants to get up and back on the horse that just kicked us off?

It takes courage to overcome fears and past defeats and to go for what we want. It doesn't matter if it's seconds later or years later, perseverance and self-coaxing are necessary to create a new outcome, to forge a new possibility. But where do we get the courage when we are afraid or weary? The same place those before us have gone for help. To the One who is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

In Psalm 42:5 the discouraged psalmist talks to his soul, "Put your hope in God, I shall yet praise Him my help and my God."

God could help him and give him strength to do the next thing next. He praised God for His power, stronger than the sweeping white rapids. Hundreds of years earlier, Samuel, the prophet cried to God for the Israelites' victory from enemies. God thundered with a great voice during the battle. Samuel honored God with a stone memorial and called it Ebenezer (stone of help), saying "thus far the Lord has helped us." (1 Samuel 7:12)

We need help to face work the next day after an error or oversight the day before. It shakes our confidence. Or to send another resume or prepare for another interview when the phone call inviting us aboard never materialized last time—or the time before. Will we be rejected? Or to re-enter the ring of tedious legal paperwork or court costs to battle unfairness and inequity—seems an unbeatable foe. We ask God for help.

We must decide to approach a new relationship if our last one failed—or to mend one that is torn when we are weary. We face feeling unlovable or unable to love.

But on the other hand, we can find love and be loved. We can find a job and have provision. We can value our lives and what is ours and defend ourselves with God's faithful help.

Back to choices. Is our mind spinning like a wheel? Are we afraid to get back up on the seat? Couldn't we just walk the bike, grasp the bars, feel the brakes and admire the color and paint—yet avoid the pain of falling? Yes. But we will never experience the wind on our face, or the strength of our body core creating balance. The chance to discover new places in nature and develop new friends. What speed feels like or the power of turning and control.

A world of adventure begins with the courage to take one risky step of faith over that bicycle bar. To grip the handlebars, sit down and lift our feet off the ground—determined to push the pedals forward once more.

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