Triple digit heat, just finished a long climb at the end of a 55 mile day, and they could see the destination right over there. Why ride an extra couple of blocks around neighborhood road construction when there’s a shortcut through the park?
So they cruised along the sidewalk, celebrating the end of a tough day, and BAM! Becky’s front wheel dropped into an unseen crack and she and her bike slammed to the pavement. Cracked her head and arm. Paramedics. ER. Cast on a broken elbow. Mild concussion.
And just that quickly, Becky’s cycling summer ended.
This was an accident. Nobody’s fault, just one of those things that happens when people ride bikes. We’ve been fortunate for six years on the FREEDOM TOUR – no really serious injuries. But perhaps there’s a lesson.
Shortcuts are tricky.
The whole idea behind a shortcut is a promise – same (or better) result with less work, engagement, sacrifice. With that promise, it’s easy to fall into a trap of complacency, believing it’s okay to relax, let down your guard, cruise on autopilot.
The get-rich-quick scheme supplants long-term budget discipline. The magic exercise machine replaces daily workouts. Doing church stuff substitutes for following Jesus.
Except, of course, they don’t.
I’m not saying our team shouldn’t have taken a shortcut – or that all shortcuts are bad. That park path was perfectly fine…like I said, it was an accident that might have happened anywhere.
I’m suggesting that you and I ought to think carefully before we dump the long-term plan for a quick shortcut. Is it really shorter? Will it really get us to the same destination?
I’m also suggesting that when we decide to change course, we must remain vigilant.
“Shorter” doesn’t mean “better” or “less dangerous.”