Poison Dart Frogs are some of the tiniest and beautiful creatures on the planet; they are also incrediably deadly. So, why call this blog "Tiny Dart Frog"? It goes back to the old adage - good things come in small packages. We are all created exactly as God has intended - unique, strong, and beautiful.
For those of you who know me personally, I'm sure that the thought, "What in heaven's name is she thinking?" just crossed your mind. If you don't know me, you should know that I'm all of the size of a tall dwarf. The very act of holding up the motorcycle takes more effort for me than most people. It's heavy and cumbersome and I could be easily crushed if it fell on me. As the only woman in the class, I felt very conscious of my size and vulnerability
But.... I've always wanted to do this and I decided now is as good a time as ever.
Let me tell you, it's intimidating. Heavy, hot, loud, fast machinery. With the only thing separating me from the ground if I crash is a helmet. Indeed... What in heaven's name was I thinking?
After a little practice I was able to maneuver decently. I could follow the large oval path we were driving and swerve around some cones. I could stop without dropping the cycle on myself. I could shift gears.
I was starting to feel pretty confident.
Until they put me in the box. To do tight, hairpin U-turns. On something that could, did I mention (?!), crush me under it's weight. How to turn the handle bars, and balance, and see where I was going?
We were to enter at one end of the box, do two tight turns, and exit out the other side without falling over, without going outside the lines.
I couldn't do it. My turns were too wide. I was too scared. I just didn't want to crash and burn. This was, I decided, the thing that was going to prevent me from passing.
Exasperated, as I practiced, I'd shake my head. Getting irritated with myself, I'd try it slower and then faster. No avail. I'd turn my handle bars more or less. No avail. I'd do positive 'self-talk' and get angry. Still. No avail.
Finally, my instructor said to me (in a not so nice and encouraging tone), "What are you doing?"
I wanted to 'hiss' at him. Didn't he know what I was doing? I was trying to get out of the BOX!
And then he said, "Where are you?"
Again, didn't he know where I was? But, I responded, "I'm right here in the box."
He responded, "And that's the problem." Which he quickly followed up with, "You don't know what you're doing, do you?"
Boy, was I furious! I did know what I was trying to do. I was trying so very, very hard. Sweat was dripping down my face, my hands were hot, and my knees were bruised. What in heaven's name was I thinking? I had paid money for this?
And then he said, "Christine, you have the skills to do this. But you're looking where you are... You need to look where you want to be."
"Look ahead. Pick the point you want to get to and the rest will follow, if your gaze is right."
Well, in U-turns it isn't as easy as looking ahead. It's looking to the side, and sometimes behind, and sometimes the 'look' is a blind look... But I tried it.
And... I hit the point. I made the turn. I got out of the box. If I'd had more gumption I would've fist pumped the air I was so thrilled.
Look where you want to be. Not where you are.
It's easy to get crushed under the weight of all the things we're trying to figure out. For me, that day, it was figuring out how to manage this giant beast of a vehicle, but that's tame compared to some of the crushing things we get dealt in life. In some ways that cycle was an embodiment of my life: Powerful, dangerous. exhilarating, and scary. The unwieldiness of it all... Life can be like that.
And once you're in the BOX, it sure feels as if just one wrong move will send the whole thing tumbling down on you. The box becomes all there is. All you can see. No way out.
But, if you look where you want to be, where you want to get to....this amazing thing happens.... The rest of you follows. Your heart follows, your mind follows, your body follows. And suddenly, you've left the box.
Now, the truth here is there are always more U-turns to make and more boxes to maneuver, but, as my instructor told me, I've got the skills. It's one thing to drive blindly around the path you've always taken, shifting predictably up and down through gears. But, it's a whole new adventure to take the twists and turns and not loose your balance.
Where do you want to be?
I know where I want to be. Jetting out of the box, with the wind whipping in my face, and the taste of salt on my lips...because I'm having just that much fun learning to live.
My name is Christine Stephan, although I answer mostly to Mom or Pastor.
I am a Lutheran pastor for an amazing group of Jesus' disciples just outside Washington DC AND a mom to 3 of the best boys in the universe.
I blog here about family and faith and frustrations....That thing we call 'life'.
My boys are passionate about all things legos, anything involving a ball, video games, and chocolate.
I am an avid runner, a lover of interesting books and deep conversation, a very amateur writer, and also a lover of chocolate.
I also love theology (which is weird, I know), but I don't love theology more than Jesus.
This blog is hardly ever profound, but it is real. As a pastor and I mom, I find 'real' to be more helpful in my journey with Jesus than crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's.