Taking off the training wheels

Pulling his bike out of the garage, Jackson did a couple of laps on the sidewalk and then came over to talk. I caught a glimpse of how scuffed up his training wheels were, so I asked him if he was ready to take them off. He got a strange look on his face and replied, “But, if I didn’t have training wheels, I might fall off.”

“True,” I said, “but when you learn to ride without training wheels you can go so much faster. It is amazing! Plus, I will be right there to keep you steady.”

So, Jackson checked out how the training wheels were attached, and I found the tools needed. After a few turns of the socket wrench on both sides, we had a new bike.

Jackson sits proudly with his "new" bike, without training wheels.

Jackson sits proudly with his “new” bike, without training wheels.

Of course, it was of utmost importance to test it out immediately. Jackson wasn’t sure how to get on now that the bike wouldn’t stand on its own. Everything was different.

I held the bike so he could climb aboard, and kept him steady as he began to pedal. He rode up and down the drive way, with me running behind, keeping him from falling.

He has a long way to go to master riding a bike, but he took the first two steps: taking off the training wheels and trusting me to keep him safe.

These are the same lessons many of us struggle with in our spiritual lives.

Too often we decide to play it safe, and avoid taking risks and stepping out in faith. We hold onto what we know, and settle into our comfort zones. As long as God leads inside those well-marked areas, we will oblige. However, this attitude begins to limit God’s leadership and power in our lives. We can only go so fast and so far with training wheels on.

Where in your life and mine are we still insisting on training wheels? Is God wanting us to grow in our trust, and we are holding back?

It is time for us to agree with God to get out the tools and loosen some screws. We may be scared, but now is when we need to believe that God will do what He has promised. We will never feel His steadying hand unless we step out in His love. Yes, we may lose balance and even skin a knee. But with God’s grace and faithfulness, we will learn.

Eventually we will ride up and down the lane, and feel the wind rushing around us as we race. We will go farther than we thought was possible.

We will experience the thrill of trusting in our Savior.

Jackson is learning to find his balance without training wheels.

Jackson is learning to find his balance without training wheels.

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