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In the first of his new, regular blogs Nathan Dring takes a sideways look at life under lockdown

22 May 2020

Teaching a 3-year-old to ride a bike…and other reflections!

Corona Virus and the subsequent lockdown have presented a number of challenges to me (like a lot of people)…but I have also gained some great new opportunities. Now that I am at home more, I am able to spend more time with the kids, including getting Daisy out on her bike – a now daily occurrence!

It was on our first outing that I noticed myself saying the same few things over and over:

“Stop looking backwards!”

“Look where you want to go!”

“Don’t look down!”

“Keep going!”

“You’re doing really well!”

“Daddy is right here!”

I have been pondering those phrases, in light of our current situation. It seems there is new perspective we need to find on almost everything: personal lives, work lives, church routines, ways of practising faith, family dynamics, friendship groups, support network…and toilet paper! As such, I’ll take one phrase at a time and share some thoughts. Just my thoughts. My musings and ponderings at such a unique time, which I hope will give you something to reflect on, be encouraged by, maybe even challenged to change.

Stop looking backwards!

I am sure you would agree that, for a 3-year old girl learning to ride a bike, this is pretty important! If you keep looking at where you have been with no focus on where you are going, you will almost inevitable crash! That isn’t to say we forget where we have been. For those of you who cycle, run or walk around Leeds you’ll know this – it isn’t flat! As such, when Daisy had made it to the top of hills, we might have a rest and pause. Take a momentary look back to see where we have been. To see where we have come from to give a great sense of achievement to where we are now. But at the top of those hills I didn’t then just let her start to roll backwards in the direction she was looking. We were in a new place. It had taken some effort to get there (with the occasional shove from Daddy!)

I can’t help but wonder if that is where people’s heads are at now. I hear people talk about ‘when we return to normal’ – and I wonder if we will…and do we want to…and do we need to…and is that what God is wanting from us? Perhaps, this is a season where we get to review what really matters and is of huge significance, and what was simply preference. Before we race back to where we were, let’s pause for a moment and consider.

What of the ‘old’ do we want to rush back to, and what can we leave?

What things were helping us walk with Jesus and what got in our way?

What helped bring new folk to the church to encounter God for the first time, and what was a blocker?

With joy and achievement and encouragement, we can pause and take a look back at where we have been. We can see our start point and our journey. But we aren’t going back there…and trying to move forward whilst only looking backwards will probably do just 1 thing…cause an injury!

So, this week, as you journey, I encourage you to (and pray that you will)…stop looking backwards!

Isaiah 43:19 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.


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