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Lenten Devotional 3/21/2024

Good afternoon all! Today’s devotional is written by Kim Turner. Kim is the Executive Director of Student Involvement & Traditions in Leadership & Student Involvement, and she has advised SGA for nearly 20 years. She loves investing in and mentoring individuals, and, if she’s not at TCU, she’s traveling, watching sports, and keeping up with current events. We hope you enjoy today’s devotional!

Hebrews 12:1-3

 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”


At the start of the calendar year, my first grader could not ride a bike.  For many families, there is no shame in this sentence.  But in the Turner household, we began to panic – because we know in April comes Bike Rodeo.  What is Bike Rodeo?  It is only the penultimate elementary school event. Where at 7:30am some exhausted and beat down adult in your household drags a bicycle to school, only to watch 300 elementary schoolers bike in a circle as fast as possible with no control, crashing into each other, for an hour.  All the moms pray for no broken bones or blood; the dads scramble to fix all the flat tires and loose chains; and the kids squeal with unbridled glee.  In kindergarten you can get away with training wheels.  But in first grade, you have to ride on two wheels.  If you can’t, they make you sit out.  To sit out is like wearing a scarlet letter in elementary school.  And someone in my house is not prepared.

My son is the most athletic kid in his class.  So, to sit out of the school’s main event would be heart breaking.  We’ve coached him up.  As the younger child, we’ve talked about first-grade Bike Rodeo expectations for years now.  He knows the consequences and that the clock is ticking.  “Buddy, you can do it.  We will be right there with you.  We won’t let you fall.  You are ready for this.”  But each and every time we get ready to practice on two wheels, the fear of failure, injury, and lack of self-confidence creep back in and sideline him from even attempting what would be a life free of training wheels and full of Bike Rodeo glory.

One Saturday in mid-February, we had a breakthrough.  He woke up and said – “I think I’m ready to try my bike.”  It was a day of rejoicing.  We seized the enthusiasm, packed up his bike, and went to the flattest parking lot we could find.  Starting out, there was still plenty of apprehension and nerves and definitely the wobbles.  But something had clearly changed.  As I watched my husband run beside him holding him steady, he was no longer focused on the ground and falling.  Instead, he lifted his head to the horizon and his eyes locked in on his father.  After several passes back and forth, he eventually rode on his own, free of his dad’s physical support and looking only to him for words of encouragement and advice.  He was riding!

As we packed up his bike and went home, my proud mom self was overwhelmed with gratitude for a son who is resilient and independent.  But also, for a moment that mirrors the relationship we have with our Savior.  How many days does life feel like one big Bike Rodeo with everything swirling around as fast as possible?  When we could be enjoying the excitement and opportunities around us, we’re stuck on the sidelines paralyzed by fear, self-doubt, and sin. However, when we intently focus on our Heavenly Father; place our trust in Him; and look to Him for support, encouragement, and advice through prayer and His Word, the reality of the world melts away and we’re able to experience the fullness of life promised to us in the Gospel.

Read Hebrews 12:1-3.

As we continue this Lenten season, I’m reminded that Lent is not just about what people choose to give up, but it is also about confession.  Because it is through confession that we free ourselves of the burden of sin and are able to experience the full joy and love that Christ intends for us.  What is robbing you of the promise of life that Christ paid the ultimate price for – what is it that is sidelining you from life’s Bike Rodeo?  It took my son lifting his eyes off the road and focusing on his earthly father’s voice, not his fear of failure and insecurities, in order to find success on his bike.  Have you allowed your eyes to stray from Him and let the sin of self-doubt rob you of the freedom and joy that could be yours in life?

Let us pray.

 Lord, thank you for sending Christ to atone for our sins and be in daily relationship with us.  We are thankful that even when we lose our focus on you, you are here to provide a steadying hand.  Forgive us for failing to trust that you will catch us when we fall.  We pray that you will remind us daily to lift our eyes off the challenges of life and shift our focus upward toward you and the message of the Gospel.  



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