Dad strolled out of the garage with a wrench in his hand while I biked up and down the sidewalk. He stopped at the end of our driveway, forcing me to brake before I ran over him. Dad smiled and waved the wrench toward my training wheels. “You’re practiced enough to take those off.”
I wasn’t so sure. My feet barely reached the pedals dad built up with wooden blocks on
my new, 24″ electric blue and silver Schwinn. As he unscrewed the bolts attaching the training wheels to my bike, he shot me a fatherly smile and said, “You’re old enough to balance on your own.”
With training wheels tossed in the grass, we walked to the middle of the street. Mom joined us, standing at the opposite end, two house-lengths away. My sister, brother, and neighborhood friends lined the curb to watch. I straddled the bike, just tall enough to peer over the handlebars.
“Now, ride straight toward your mom. I’ll run along beside you and hold the back of the seat until you get your balance,” Dad said. “Ready?”
I took three deep breaths before putting my right foot on the right pedal. I lifted my
body to a standing position and pushed forward on the pedal. As the right one went down, I caught my left foot on the rising left pedal and pumped in a circular motion. I wobbled, struggling to keep the front wheel pointed toward Mom.
As he promised, Dad ran beside me. He held my seat and helped me balance. Halfway to
Mom, Dad’s pace slowed, and he slipped further behind me. I panicked when I sensed he’d let go of the seat. I forgot to pedal, and the front wheel swerved wildly back and forth.
“Pedal. Keep pedaling. Harder. You’re getting it. You’re doing fine.” Dad’s words came from behind me where he’d let go. I held the handlebars steady and pedaled with all my might. The front wheel stopped wobbling. I reached Mom and rode past her, grinning from ear to ear. I no longer needed training wheels.
Funny how that memory pops to mind from time to time. Especially when I’m embarking
on something new—teaching a class, starting a project, staring into the face of a scary challenge. Or when I’m heading into a new season of life—like when I no longer relied on my parents for financial help or when my dad’s counsel and support passed away with him. That’s when I remember my father’s words, “You’re practiced enough to take those training wheels off.”
At some point, the Father also calls me to throw away my training wheels and put what I
learned to the test. To throw away crutches and stand on my own, knowing He always equips me to do whatever He calls me to do. And I can trust that He sends His Spirit to remind me, “Keep pedaling. You’re doing fine.”
“As[Elisha and Elijah] were walking along and talking together, suddenly …Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind…And Elisha saw him no more…Then [Elisha] took the cloak that had fallen from [Elijah]and struck the water with it… the water divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over. The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The Spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.” (2 Kings 2:11-12, 14-15, NIV)
©2011 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to
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