He standing up, then he’s sitting down. My six year old grandson shows off all the ways he can now ride his bike. Feet on, feet off, two hands on, and one hand off. Noah is all smiles having finally mastered the technique of having balance when riding without those silly training wheels.
Though his success didn’t come without tears, bruises, and screams of “I can’t do this. It’s too hard!” There was a moment when Noah gave up and put his bike in the garage. I invited him to sit by me on the front porch.
“Do you want me to put the training wheels back on your bike?” I asked him.
He responded, “No.”
“So, do you still want to learn how to ride on two wheels?”
“Yes, but the bike keeps falling over.”
“You need to find the balance, Noah. It’s in you, not the bike. How bout I promise you a treat if you go out and try again and again, no matter how long it takes. When you can ride it, I’ll buy you a chocolate milk shake.” (Grandma’s are professional bribers).
Noah wiped away his tears, grabbed his bike, and kept trying, He didn’t give up. Noah pushed through the frustrations and was finally at a place where achieving the goal was limited by the width of the sidewalk. So with his mom’s permission, I loaded his bike in my car and we went down to an empty parking lot. By the time I closed the trunk, he was pedaling across the wide open space. It was magic. He had found his balance. I called his mom and she rushed down to watch. She was amazed, and happily bought him a milkshake in my place.
Balance – A Life Lesson From The Start
Like my grandson, the minute I found balance on my bike, I tried riding with no hands. I fell off and even with a few scrapes and bruises, I was willing to try it again. I was determined to ride like my siblings. Another time I fell off, my arm broke. My dad sent me back out, cast and all. He said “the longer you stay off, the harder it will be to get back on. You can’t let the fear of falling keep you from enjoying the ride.”
Dad was teaching me a life lesson but it wasn’t until years later that I would piece it all together. Looking back, I am reminded that the balance was more than staying on a two-wheeled bicycle. I found it in many aspects of my life. No matter how many bumps and bruises appeared, I was determined to get back up and keep putting my best foot forward.
Lessons Continue For The Rest Of Your Life
Life can be harder than riding a bicycle down the street. I’ve discovered many steep inclines, switchbacks, and rocky paths along the way. Although the GPS would always reroute me, it seldom happened that I came out unscathed.
The scars scattered about my body are there to remind me, to show me that ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13’. There are times when I’m thankful for falls or failures because they have given me a more determined reason to keep moving forward.
At almost every crossroad, I have been blessed with a new friend. Each one adds a piece of themselves to my life to keep me balanced. When someone moves or even dies, a part of me leaves with them, creating an imbalance in my life. To remain steady, I need friends to encourage me, to hold me accountable, to remind me to stay the course, and to tell me to never give up.
Otherwise, it will feel like I’m the only one on a bicycle built-for-two. As I pedal from the front seat, the back of the bike becomes wobbly and eventually loses it’s balance and falls over. I have no choice but to fall with it.
God uses all of our mishaps for good
Some of the growth from our mistakes happen in us, some in others. We have to remember to believe in ourselves, so the fear of falling or failing won’t stop us from maintaining a good balance and succeeding in life.
Since my husband died almost four years ago, I had been struggling to find the right balance in my life. After trying a few home-based businesses, I became a driver for a ride-share company. I drive for Lyft and I love it because I get to choose my own hours and see the results in the weekly paycheck. It’s been a good part-time job which also allows me to follow my passion. Plus, being a driver gives me the opportunity to talk to people, which in turn, gives me more things to write about.
Encourage a friend by giving them a “Never Give Up” mug filled with their favorite coffee or a bag of M & M’s. Be sure to say thanks.
Checkout this video of a bus riding on a narrow road in the Himalayas, maintaining balance.