My knee isn’t doing the best these days. It happened lifting weights. A snatch for those of you who are wondering. I told the architect that I wanted the church designed without any stairs so that everywhere was accessible to everybody. Then I had an idea for us to build an office above the kid’s area. It has been a blessing for the staff, but also has steps, which I don’t climb too well these days. So I work at one of the tables in the lobby. I’m enjoying my time as a pastor / receptionist. I’m also enjoying looking out the huge windows and watching little children learn how to ride a bike. Here are four things I am learning from these brave little souls.
- The toughest pedal is the first one.
I rarely see kids eager and willing to get on the bike. Or never. Negotiation is always involved. I assume it involves ice cream or staying up late or an iTunes gift card. The child isn’t excited to pedal because the child isn’t excited to fall. The adult knows that the fun and freedom of riding a bike is worth the risk of a fall or two. Until it comes to things like starting a relationship, saying “no” to someone, moving, applying for a new job, or joining a gym. The toughest step is the first step. It’s true for kids and their mom and dads too.
- The child doesn’t learn how to ride the bike alone.
I have never witnessed a kid learning to ride their bike alone. Never. They have loving hands balancing them and a loving voice encouraging them. And so it is with life. Others support us, teach us, partner with us, and help us do things we have never done before and get to places we have never been before.
- Progress is gradual.
Learning to ride a bike isn’t easy for most of the kids I watch. Some stop pedaling and get off. Some fall. Some get so close to success and they hit the brakes. Some figure it out in ten minutes. Some it takes hours. Success doesn’t happen in a moment. It happens incrementally. Riding a bike, losing weight, learning a language, saving money, and growing close to God. Patience and progress are powerful allies that allow people to do things they have never been able to do before.
- Fulfillment and joy exist when the child learns to ride.
I stop working when the kid figures it out. I close the computer and observe this magical moment created by courage, community, and continuing. The parents see the potential in partnering with their child. The child feels the wind and experiences the possibilities. They are thinking at the moment: “If I can ride this bike there is nothing I can’t do!” Fear has been defeated. Faith and freedom win.
There is a bike calling your name. Find a friend or two and start pedaling.