Looking Down

Yesterday was the first time our kids have biked down a trail. They are used to the New River Trail here in Galax that we ride all the time. It’s a cinder trail and it is flat, smooth, and easy to ride. Yesterday they had to get used to riding down uneven surfaces with rocks, roots, and gravel. They were awesome, no wrecks and they had a blast. But at one point, Emma hit a big rock in the trail. It knocked both her feet off the pedals and she about lost it. She managed to stop her bike without wiping out, but it scared her. For the next several miles, she was focused on looking down right in front of her tire. We kept encouraging her to look up so she could see what was coming up, but she was too scared. By the end of the ride, she was having fun again and she was fine, but there is a valuable lesson to learn here.

As leaders, many times you encounter a rock in the trail. You hit something unexpectedly and it almost wrecks you. You have a choice, do you become paranoid and focus on every rock on the trail, or do you keep your eyes focused ahead on the destination. I’m afraid that our natural tendency is to become distracted and scared. When we look down, we miss so many things along the way. Instead of enjoying the journey, we become preoccupied with what might happen. Instead of boldly going forward, we become timid, scared, and paralyzed by fear.

So what are you scared of? What rocks have you hit? Have you lost your joy in the journey? Let’s take our eyes off of what could be, and focus on what should be.


I am a former design engineer who now pastors Cornerstone Community Church in Galax, Virginia. I'm passionate about following Jesus and I love technology. I've been married to Jennifer for 28 years, and we have three adult children.

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