Summertime in the country: my little brother and I would bump along down our circle driveway, bikes not absorbing much shock at all from the big chunks of gravel and asphalt. When we’d reach the bottom of the hill, our bikes would (hopefully) hit the homemade ramps straight-on, and we’d get the most epic air a kid could hope for. In that shining moment, hair flying out behind me, I could have been sporting Wonder Woman’s cape. I felt so free and heroic.
Fast-forward twenty years. IF I get on a bike now, it’s at a leisurely, predictable pace with few bumps and zero hills. And you can absolutely forget about any ramp action. Man, I got boring.
I’m finding that life is a lot like riding a bike. It takes guts to figure out how to get started, but once you’re in a rhythm, everything goes swell. You might even catch some great air along the way. Your cape is secure, and all the world hums happily as you pass through. Until you stop for a while because of a new job or a baby or a health issue or a long-term emotional funk or a thousand other reasons. Being out of the routine of pumping those legs for so long can make life feel overwhelming. Then it seems like the hardest thing in the world to haul that bicycle back up, swing your leg over it, and push off.
But if we ever want to see any progress, we have to be willing to face the fear and discomfort of movement. What if everything God has for you is just on the other side of relearning how to ride a bike?
We all struggle with forward motion
‘Cause forward motion is harder than it sounds
Every time I gain some ground
I gotta turn myself around again.
(Relient K, Forward Motion)
Moving forward sounds so natural, so easy. But it’s really not sometimes, and that’s okay. Let’s just normalize that, shall we? Going forward (as opposed to backward or sideways or up and down or around in circles) can take gritted teeth and big girl panties. It can also take a fresh sense of surrender. The minute I stop relying on my own herculean effort and turn to my Daddy for help, I have more power in my corner than I could ever have manufactured. And that’s what He was waiting for all along.
So keep pedaling, friends. Hit some great ramps. If it’s time to pick up your bike and climb back on, I’m cheering for you. Pump those legs, feel the rush of wind in your face, and remember there’s a cape flying out behind you. And a good Father who’s thrilled to watch you do what He created you to do.