When my daughter Asia and I took our first bike ride together, it almost became our last. Our five-year-old daughter has a bike that attaches to the back of another bike. For the whole summer it was attached to my wife’s bike since they went riding almost every day. However, on one particular day, Asia wanted to attach to my bike. I was thrilled since we hadn’t attached before. We made the switch and just as we started off, my wife instructed, “Remember to take it slow around the turns.”
I know I heard her because under my breath I muttered, “Yes, I know honey—I’m not an idiot.”
Let me take that back. Maybe I am. Because not long after, I could be seen whizzing around the corner, child suspended in mid-air, child’s face frozen in terror, mother watching it all from behind, and probably thinking, “What an idiot.” Once I realized what was happening, I quickly pulled over as mother swooped in and rescued her child from my evil clutches:
“I told you to take it slow. Look how scared Asia is.”
Immediately I wanted to run away, to be alone. I quickly detached Asia’s bike and informed them, “You two can finish your ride; I’m going back home.” Then I rode away. All sorts of thoughts streamed through my mind:
“What kind of father are you?”
“You put your daughter in harm’s way.”
“You frightened your little girl.”
“That’s the type of father you are.”
I didn’t get too far when I realized what was happening: I was under attack from the accuser; I was being pressed. I turned back, found my two ladies and explained what was happening. My wife cancelled those accusations and I stepped out of shame.
Toward the end of Jesus’ life, he brings his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemanee, a place which means, “olive press.” It is here he will pray to God and ask his life to be spared. Full of sorrow, Jesus goes further into the garden. But he doesn’t go alone. He asks his three closest friends to stay with him. The reason? “This sorrow is crushing my life out,” he says.
But this isn’t our normal tendency is it? No, when we’re pressed, we hide; we run; we don’t want others to see us this way. We isolate; we separate; we divide.
But maybe that’s the problem. Maybe we should take a lesson from Jesus—you know—bring them along with us. Let them see our shame, our sadness, our sorrow.
Why go it alone?