We took Ivy up to Dogwood Elementary’s playground. It has a flat black-top that is perfect for learning to ride a bike. But perfect does not mean easy. So Ivy tumbled all over the place, as I helped her ride back and forth. We also brought up Phoebe’s 12-inch princess bike with training wheels, but her response,
“I can’t ride my princess bike. It’s too dangerous!”
In between crashes Ivy slowly got the hang of riding. And with cheers I let go and she rode all the way to the other side. Of course turning still led to crashes. So I had to hustle down to start her over at each end (she can not start by herself either, but slowly tips over).
Phoebe, watching Ivy, decided to try riding. She also got cheers, but unfortunately she tried to pedal by pushing down on both feet (when you push the pedals backward they become a brake). I had to walk beside her and hold the handle bar while also rotating her foot on the pedal. Stopping to run down and help Ivy start again… all baby-steps to lower back pain… But soon enough Phoebe got the hang of pedaling – though only down hill. Her little legs were not strong enough to pedal up hill. Or maybe she was happy to let daddy push.
“Dangerous” is not the word that comes to mind when you look at Phoebe’s bike. The carriage on the handlebars and the sparkling streamers seem to say something else entirely – not to mention the pink training wheels. Yet Phoebe was not focused on her bike. She was focused on her big sister. The person she follows everywhere. Watching Ivy tumble and hearing her dad demand she get back on the bike… that was dangerous.
Adults are no different. We often watch others – waiting for someone else to take the risk. Whether it is helping a stranger or confronting someone when they are wrong or risking our own reputation to defend another. But even when we see someone else take action, it is still risky to follow.
Without risk, though, our faith is like a bike with training wheels. We are on the bike, we might tell ourselves proudly. But in our search for safety we have traded away the joy of depth and received boredom.
If your faith is boring it is time to take off the training wheels and risk. To share Christ. To give so it changes your lifestyle. To defend the fatherless and widows. To … To do whatever God is calling for in your life.