Remember when you were just a kid and you were suddenly inspired to ride your bike without training wheels? It was like you had a burst of courage, ready to step into a new frontier of big-kid-ness.
My brother, two years younger than me, had this experience at the age of four. I did not. But if there’s anything about being a big sister, it’s the unwritten rule that you must always be more proficient than your brothers at everything to keep them in their place.
Apparently, six-year-olds don’t have a whole lot of pride, and my young reputation was not enough to convince myself to try to ride a bike without training wheels. No way.
No, to this day I am not riding a bike with training wheels. In fact, I went on to learn how to drive a golf cart at the age of eleven, a four-wheeler at the age of sixteen (well, sorta…but that’s another story), a car at the age of seventeen and a manual transmission about six months ago. (Next up: boat.)
My parents eventually got me on just two wheels by openly shaming me into it (I guess I did have some pride). If my four-year-old brother could ride a bike, I—a big girl of six—surely could.
The reason I didn’t want to learn how to ride without training wheels wasn’t because I liked training wheels. They were actually kinda annoying—wobbly and noisy and for babies. But I was too afraid to try riding without training wheels. My dad assured me he would hold the back of the bicycle seat so I wouldn’t fall. “You won’t let go, right Daddy?”
“Nope. I’ll hang on the whole way down.”
Did I mention we lived in the country and had a 50-mile-long gravel driveway?
Well, my dad held onto the back of my bike and away we went. After what felt like two seconds, I looked back and he was standing at the top of the driveway. I was halfway down the driveway. Panic ensued. The result: scraped knees and tears.
This story reminds me of how often we resist the Holy Spirit when He tells us to do something. He wants us to move into unfamiliar territory—the kind that will urge us into complete reliance on Him. So often we feel that firm nudge but respond with, “Is that actually You, Lord? ‘Cause that seems like a strange thing to do. It will hurt if I fall. I’d rather feel stable where I am.”
The problem with being in a stable area of life is that we start thinking we got this. When you feel in control, you don’t cry out for help.
There will be times that God asks us to do things we just flat-out don’t want to do. There have been times that God has asked me to do something and my answer has been no. “No, God, I can’t. I want to make You happy, but I just can’t.”
And yet, through tears and heartache, I hear the ever-gentle, “No, you can’t. But I can. I can because I AM.”
Folks, He really is enough. And when you really, truly, in your heart of hearts know that He is going to be holding your bicycle seat all the way, you can enjoy the ride. You can focus on how you ride instead of how you’re staying on. And even when it feels like He’s still standing at the top of the driveway, He is really right beside you. Guess what? You might still crash.
But if it means being in God’s will and enjoying the life He has set before me, I would rather crash on two wheels than be safe on four.
Let me encourage you to say yes to God in something He is asking you to do, big or small. Fully rely on Him. He will show His power to you if you let Him.