Advent devotion: Let’s play

News | December 4, 2019

It’s edgy riding a mountain bike trail in the deep dark forest with only the bike’s handle-bar-mounted headlight pushing its single beam through the nighttime darkness. Edgy for the rider whose eyes are straining to follow the never straight but always narrow trail. Edgy, I imagine, for the occasional stray cat or rabbit in the underbrush whose unblinking eyes reflect the probing beam. Unsure in the darkness whether the approaching mass is friend or foe, the little creatures, and their eyes, become frozen in place.

Contrasting, it was a gorgeous bright-lighted, sun-high-in-the-sky day as I was making a lazy 180-degree turn-around at the start of the return leg of my morning’s conditioning ride on the Duck Creek Trail. I was catching my breath after pedaling my heavy, fat-knobby-tired mountain bike as fast as I could on the out-bound leg of my ride. I had attempted to provide some challenge to the two young studs gaining on me from behind riding their skinny-tired “racing bikes.” They gave me acknowledging nods as they effortlessly swooshed by me as if to say, “Nice try, old man!”

Slowly building up speed, the peripheral vision of my left eye started registering something dark and furry low on the left side of the trail center line keeping pace with the front wheel of my bike traveling on the right side of the line. When I fully focused I could see the little black squirrel galloping along, performing rapid graceful leaping arches. I swear that my new high-tech hearing aids were picking up the audible of his heavy breathing. I picked up speed. He rotated his head slightly so his tiny right eye, shiny like a little black marble, looked up at me. He picked up speed, nose pointed straight ahead. After about 30 yards of this the trail curved to the right. I followed the curve. My challenging buddy followed his nose, straight into the woods. Game over!

Jesus brings light and life out of darkness into God’s creation. Thank you, Lord, for providing light that helps me see and experience the fun that the surprises of life can provide.

John Horn lives with his wife, Margaret, on Davenport’s west side. They are retired and enjoy traveling to learn about and experience the world. The picture shows them during summertime in Antarctica.

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