Choices   Leave a comment

I was a typical boy, in a typical country neighborhood on a typical Summer day in Ohio.  There was a barn near our house that the kids from our cluster of homes would ride around on a daily basis.  We would race around the circular drive on our bicycles, or up and down the man-made hill leading up to the 2nd floor barn entry.

A friend of mine decided that this hill would be a great place from which to jump his bike, and he quickly became an expert at it.  In fact, he would spend most of his time trying to see how far he could jump his bike, simply enjoying the thrill of being separated from earth for a second or two at a time.

One day, he invited me to join him in this aerial activity, but only gave me limited instructions. He basically told me to watch him and then do what he did.  Being somewhere around 10, this was enough of a lesson for me.  So I watched him go halfway down the hill, turn left, then jump off the edge just like the professionals did.  

After a deep breath, I began my adventure down the road to certain stardom and fortune, knowing that I would soon be on TV for such tremendous skills.  In hindsight, I now realize that I probably could have made it onto TV if the ‘funny video’ shows had existed back then.

I barreled down the hill as fast as I could, going faster than humanly possible.  I turned precisely where my friend had instructed me and got all the way to the edge of the ramp – ready to fly farther than that goofy-looking “Evil Kenevil guy” had ever dreamed.  There was only one problem.  My faithful friend never told me what he did that kept him in the upright position while on these adventures through the air.  I never knew that I was supposed to pull up on the handlebars prior to leaving the ground.  So….

As I left mother earth for what seemed like an eternity, I noticed that I no longer had a grip on my bicycle.  In fact, the bike and I were now on two entirely different courses.  The bike went straight down while my body was going down at a different trajectory, although still heeding the call of gravity.  The bike landed, then I landed, chin-first.

This was in the early 70’s, and my bike was the coolest in Ohio.  I was a dark purple with that sparkle stuff in it and had a “mag” wheel in the back and a banana seat.  The other extra-hip feature was what caused my problems to become worse.  It had what we called a “sissy bar” on the back, basically designed to keep any potential passenger from falling off the back of the bike.

When I hit the ground, my body pretty much stopped moving forward for obvious reasons.  The earth tends to quickly break one’s momentum in these events.  However, my bike wasn’t quite finished with its journey.  Bicycles bounce.  That stupid bike bounced just right so that the sissy bar is what landed next – but it wasn’t content to land on the ground around me.  That thing landed right on the back of my head!

When I woke up, I don’t remember seeing my instructor any more.  Perhaps he went for help.  Perhaps he was hiding so I couldn’t see him laugh.  Perhaps he is the one who created the whole funny video phenomenon.  Regardless, I remember taking my wounded body and bike through a couple of yards to tell Mom that I had “a little wreck.”  It wasn’t until years later that I told her what really happened.

From that point forward in my life, I have tried to be more careful in the choices I’ve made.  Bad choices only bring bad results.  I wish that I could tell you that every choice I’ve made since then was the right choice, but that would be dishonest – a choice I refuse to make now.

Joshua was coming to the end of his life.  He was basically commissioning those leaders that would follow to do the right thing.  He told them that if they chose not to follow God’s leadership that this was their prerogative.  But his choice was clear, and it was the right choice.

“…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15, NIV

Be very careful how you make your decisions.  Your choices may just come back and smack you in the back of the head.  Always choose God and His leadership.  It’s the right choice!

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