Monday, October 22, 2012

It's as Easy as Riding a Bike

Lots of parks, parks with nice playground equipment, parks with plenty of shade for mommy and daddy, parks with sidewalk tracks - perfect for bike riding. This is one of the many things I have enjoyed about this town we moved to a year ago! 

Yesterday we took advantage and drove the kids to our favorite bike riding park after church! They had a blast! One of my children loves to ride, carefree, as fast as they can round and round the loop. I love to watch them - confident grin on their face, flushed cheeks as they pedal past me, eager to make another circle. In fact our child was doing so well we asked if they wanted to take the training wheels  off... again. They agreed, Jarrod preformed the procedure and began the task of training... again. After about 30 minutes of fear, tears, and near accidents the child gave up and went to play in the sand box. Happily this kid made the decision to have the training wheels returned to their rightful place on the bike (as is the normal course of action every time they give it a try on two wheels). Content to ride with the security those two extra wheels provide. Grateful to have something else to hold them up instead of mastering the skill themselves. 

Now, I don’t blame my kid for wanting it this way. I don’t fault them for deciding they would just rather have fun. This is a child we are talking about and children are allowed to act, well, childlike. But what about you and I? Is it wise for us to continue to take a few steps forward and then decide it’s just too hard, too much work, too tiring - and go back to the security we have known since first learning to ride? I am no longer talking about bike riding, assuming (hoping against hope) none of you are still pedaling with your training wheels on. I am talking about our spiritual lives. Look what Hebrews has to say:

In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 12:12-14

We should be teaching the truth to others yet some of us keep going back to the basics. We won't grow up and grow in the word. We want it bottle fed to us. 

I have had my training wheels back on for months now. I don’t want to go further. I don’t want to go deeper. I want to stay here where I can feel confident in the familiar. With my training wheels on I can go it alone and breeze down the lane. If they are removed, I may teeter, there may be tears, I might even fall on occasion. Growing up spiritually requires that I ask for help from time to time. If I get help somebody might witness my lack of understanding, they will see my confidence shatter before I can catch on. Moving forward means I can’t just go out there knowing how to live, what to do. It means I will have to put in the time. I will have to invest. I won’t have as much time to play in the sandbox. 
If my little one would keep at it they would soon be breezing by me at top speed every bit as confident in what they now know. They would be ready to move on and learn more. The training they endured would be so worth it. Reminding them to dig their heels in next time they face transition and continue to learn all that it takes to grow up and move forward. 
Imagine how much further I would be if I had never put those two wheels back on. What joy I would be experiencing in my relationship with the Lord right now. My confidence in the truth and knowledge of God’s word would be so much more than it is right now. I would be mature and immovable. I would be headed towards the grand prize... and I’d be closer to the finish line. 
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:25-27
Next time we take our child’s training wheels off we have decided it will be for good! The knowledge that they can go back, I believe, has hindered them. I wish I had somebody who could make those decisions for me. But I am my own person now, responsible for my self. In wisdom and maturity I must decide, there is no going back! 
A little challenge... I am going to TRY to remember to post more regularly in my Praise Journal. I am also going to make it a priority to get into the word more. Who wants to join me? To be my "helper" to hold me accountable and be held accountable? If we do this we may witness each other's mistakes. We may fall flat on our faces in front of each other. But there will also be somebody there to help us back up and hold on to the back of the bike until we are steadied. 

I am starting a new page here on this blog called, "What I Am Reading" (click HERE to see it). I will post what I have read in the bible that day. It may be as simple as book, chapter and verse, may be a little bit of what God taught me. If you want, leave a comment to that post and tell me what you read that day. 

In my "Praise Journal" here on this blog (click HERE to go to the Praise Journal) I will be posting more often on what I am praising God for. I encourage you to keep your own journal whether online or in a spiral. It is SO encouraging to go back and see what God has done. Some days I just need to force myself to look for what He did that day, especially during a particularly crummy time. Along with keeping your own record of your praises, post a comment to mine and tell what you are thankful for that day. 

Please join me, I need all the encouragement and help I can get! 

 P.S. I LOVE comments! Please don't be shy!


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