Dodging potholes this morning reminded me of a trip we made from Vancouver, Canada to Alsaka. Four thousand kilometers (2,485miles) is fine in a car but a little more challenging when you’re sitting in the same position on the back of a motor bike for up to nine or ten hours a day. I’m not complaining. We were on the Rolls Royce of bikes, the Honda Gold Wing.

Along the way we dodged hailstones, clouds of mosquitoes and a charging moose. And then there was the pothole. The Alaska/Canada highway is a work in progress. Built during the last world war, its surface has become buckled and bumpy with the uneven thawing and icing of the permafrost and is constantly being fixed.

It was getting dark and we still had a ways to go before stopping for the night at a motel along the route. At the back of the bike I was becoming drowsy and relaxed when I was suddenly hoisted right out of my seat as the front tire slammed into a massive pothole. The forks of the bike compressed with such force we thought we’d spent our last seconds together. My arms instinctively circled Mark’s helmet (while I was up there), releasing a few less-than-gracious words out of my usually passive mouth.

Amazingly, with a little help from some wide-awake angels, we stayed on the bike. Stunned we sat there, minds blank at first, then grateful to the Lord we’d lived to tell the story. Did it spoil the journey? Absolutely not. Were we afraid to get back on the bike? No. But we learned the lesson of the pothole. Drive only a fast as it takes to see pothole to be able to avoid it. Then you’ll have the time to enjoy the beauty around you as well.

I guess in life too, we can go so hard that when we hit a “pothole” it unseats us. We’re suddenly faced with difficulties or problems and we fear we’re not going to be able to cope. Our lives have become unblanced. we’ve lost the art of slowing down so we can enjoy the journey. Slow enough to love the people close to us. To appreciate the things we have and to enjoy the trip.

Slow down. Be balanced. Be prepared for the hard times.