Last weekend we decided it was time to take off the training wheels. Our elementary school is in our neighborhood and the blacktop was the perfect place for the first run on 2 wheels. We unloaded 3 bikes, 3 kids and some tools and went to work. I was surprised to see my husband grab our son’s bike first and start removing the training wheels – he’s 3! And sure he’s super coordinated, but riding a bike doesn’t have a ton to do with coordination. It has a lot more to do with confidence and trust. So after the training wheels were off, my son lasted about 2 seconds before he realized that he couldn’t go super fast, take turns at motorcycle speed and coast with his feet in the air, so back on went the training wheels!
But then the real action began when he took off the girls’ training wheels. He started with one little lady, giving her instructions, insuring her that he’d be holding onto the back of her bike at first, and telling her that she could do this! After a few tries, I walked over and said, “say, ‘I can do it’”. She said, “I can do it,” half heartedly. I said, “no, like you mean it. Let me hear you say, ‘I can do it.’” And I continued until she was shouting that she could do it. It was amazing to see her hesitate for about 2 minutes and then take off!
The second little lady was a different story. She was rather uncertain and a little scared. Daddy assured her that he wasn’t going to let go. She didn’t trust him. She’d start and then stop, looking back to see if he were still there. He’d promise that he wasn’t going to let go. I walked over and gave my pep talk, “say ‘I can do it.’” But that didn’t work too well either. She really wanted to ride without her training wheels, but she didn’t trust Daddy’s promise to not let go, she didn’t trust her bike to stay upright without the training wheels, and she didn’t trust herself. I was so frustrated watching this. I couldn’t help but feel that her lack of trust, fear and insecurities were totally unjustified. She rides her bike like a maniac in our small backyard – I’m often yelling at her to slow down! But she was used to the support of the training wheels and she just couldn’t imagine that this bike riding thing would work without them.
Eventually, little by little, she understood that she was safe and capable and she did it! She rode by herself without training wheels and 2 seconds later I was yelling again for her to slow down! Once she did it, it didn’t take long for her to realize that we were right, she could trust her bike and have confidence in herself.
How many times has God promise to not let go of me, empower me to step out, and ensure that I could do it, but I haven’t trusted? I’ve hesitated. I’ve started just to quickly stop and look back to make sure that He’s keeping His word.
He doesn’t get frustrated though. He doesn’t roll His eyes. He doesn’t complain of a sore back from holding me up. He is patient. He is gentle. He is loving. He encourages me along and continues to whisper, “trust me. Trust me. Trust me.”