Do you remember those Little Tike tricycles, the ones with the plastic wheels that seemed larger than life? I can remember looking at one of those thinking that with this trike I could conquer the world, or at least the driveway.
Every day I would get on that thing and would go for what seemed like hours. I would run it till the wheels fell off. Now, as a dad, I have the unique gift of watching my mini-me do the same thing. My four year old seems like he would ride for days if I let him. On the occasion where I can sit back and watch him, there is always a moment that strikes me as odd, the moment when those plastic wheels start to give way.
Don’t get me wrong. Caleb doesn’t notice. He just keeps going, pedaling harder than before to cover less ground. He doesn’t even know why it is getting harder. He just knows that if he doesn’t work harder he can’t cover as much ground as he did before -- completely oblivious to the fact his wheel is about to fall off. I imagine that much of my childhood was spent the same way: using more effort to cover the same ground – all because I wasn’t aware enough to check the wheels.
I still do the same thing today. I let my wheels fall off and I just compensate by working harder. Mind, body, and spirit: they are all connected and they are connected in a way that makes them work better when they are all healthy.
Last week I lived this in spades. I was running on fumes, between stuff at work, things at home, and then an unexpected event. It was all I could do to keep moving. So, like most functioning adults, I sacrificed the least important things: sleep, workouts, and eating well (because who has time for that?). Basically, I let the wheel fall off the trike. I know when I read this I think, “Wow, that was crazy,” but in the moment it was a no-brainer. Of course I would sacrifice those things.
As I think about that experience I am left wondering how many of us sacrifice one wheel because “we can do without it?” I’m growing into the idea that life is more like a tricycle than I would care to admit. You can let a wheel fall off, but when you do, be prepared to work twice as hard for the same amount of distance.
What wheel in your life needs attention?