Once he started breathing again, he was embarrassed. He could not admit it then or let anyone know. “Pull yourself together,” he thought. “Don’t let them see how much you are hurting. Be tough! Shake it off, get back on your bike like it was nothing.”
In a time long before helmets, smart phones, and video games, this preteen’s neighborhood friends and his piece-by-piece self-built BMX bicycle were his life. He was riding to Steve’s house to shoot hoops or ride the go-cart when the bus from Becky’s private school was letting her off. This was his moment. Jim had left the ramp set up at the edge of his parent’s driveway. This was perfect! If he timed it right, he could hit the ramp, get a good jump with impressive air-time and stick the landing right beside the bus. All the passengers – and Becky – could not help but be impressed.
His timing was great! He speed spot on . . . but he gained too much air. He forgot about the tree in Jim’s yard. The tree with that particular branch. You were always supposed to jump short at Jim’s. He looked and there was the branch so he did the only thing he could think of before his face hit bark. He leaned back.
Every action has an opposite and equal reaction. Leaning back with his weight meant that not only did he go under the branch, but the bike would sling forward and the seat would go out from under him. When he landed, he was on his back, bike on top of him while he looked up at the tree. The gasps from the bus riders were of little comfort when he realized his impact with the ground knock the air out of his lungs. All because he wanted to show-out!
“Shake it off! Get up! Ride away like nothing happened . . . Oh and pray Becky didn’t see you crash.”
Proverbs says, “Pride goes before destruction.” (Pro 16:18) And, “One’s pride will bring him low.” (Pro 29:23).
I am certain that these proverbs were not about my bike stunt back in 1979, but that event is still a reminder to keep a check on pride. Pride is carnal. Pride focuses on self. Pride is all about me. As a child of God, my life is about Christ. Paul said it better, “Christ . . . is your life.” (Col 3:4)
How do you keep your pride in check?