I love motorbikes. My love for bikes came from my father who has owned a Harley for as long as I can remember. In fact, my first and greatest memory of moving to Vancouver Island from the Yukon back in 1989 was that we had the bike out on Boxing Day.
We were both in T-shirts no less and couldn't figure out why people were staring at us funny. I didn't know that there was such a paradise in the universe that would allow such a luxury.
There is no doubt I have grown soft since then, but it is a great memory that I cherish to this day.
Another vivid childhood memory jumps out at me when I think of motorbikes.
I was about 12 years old and Dad let me steer the bike on a quiet back road near our house. He sat behind me with his feet on the controls and his hands at the ready.
His one request in this bonding moment was, "Don't hit the curb."
That prepared the way for a life lesson that I have never forgotten.
I didn't pay attention to the road, the people, or the other vehicles. My sight was set securely on the curb and you can guess what happened. Even as my mind repeated the rule to not hit the curb, my eyes directed my path right toward it. I watched as it got closer and I froze in the fear that I was going to the exact place I wasn't supposed to.
The reality is that 'Where you look, you go.' This is true in every area from healthy relationships, to self awareness, to successful business practices. What you fix your vision on, will direct your course rightly or wrongly. So here are a couple of soul matters to consider when it comes to setting our sights on success.
Don't focus on what isn't. This is a common mistake of community gatherings, church groups, and social clubs. We define ourselves by what we aren't and describe ourselves by the absence of something or, most damnably, someone. We remain content as long as we don't become like "them." It feels like a victory because we rally people around a common enemy, but that is a poor counterfeit for vision. Don't focus on the shortcomings.
This happens often in individuals or relationships when the vision gets stuck on a problem or issue.
Like the beauty queen who debases herself because of her thick ankles. Or the husband who excels at the office because people value his strengths, but feels like a failure at home because he is constantly reminded of his weaknesses. Good vision recognizes what is and focuses on what will be. Like my father, who saw I was in trouble and corrected the situation. The impending doom felt like an eternity for me but was merely a few seconds of real time. Dad was keenly aware of what was happening, corrected the steering, and resumed control as we drove safely home. I imagine that if I did hit the curb, my memory of the situation would be a very different one and my love for bikes may never have become what it is.
So thanks, Dad, for teaching me vision.
Dan Cousins is the lead pastor of Genesis Christian Centre, a growing young church in Nanaimo, and serves as chaplain for the Nanaimo Clippers. He can be reached at email@example.com
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