Monday’s Musing–Two-Wheelin’ It
Two years ago I taught my oldest daughter to ride her bike without the training wheels. Now, training wheels are great, for beginners, but sooner or later everyone has to outgrow them.
Unfortunately for the training-wheeled rider, balancing a two-wheeler is harder—and scarier—than it looks. There’s a lot involved that we two-wheeled experts take for granted.
Like the inner ear for instance.
Tiny crystals floating around in a labyrinth of semi-circular canals signal nerves to tell the brain where the head is in space. Even the slightest movement send a crystal tumbling through the canal, notifying the brain that adjustments need to be made.
Or how about the eyes.
The eyes focus on the horizon or some other stationary focal point sending messages along the optic nerve to the brain notifying central command of the exact position of the body in relation to the pre-determined point.
Then there’s the muscles.
The hands grip the handle bars, the arms steady the torso, the trunk muscles make tiny adjustments in the location of the center of gravity, and the legs provide the power involved to propel the bicycle.
And all this has to be perfectly coordinated for a body to balance on two wheels. That’s a lot for a six-year-old to contemplate.
Now, all that wouldn’t be too bad except for one small thing that tends to disrupt the whole process—fear. Fear of losing control. Fear of falling. Fear of the cold introduction of flesh to concrete.
Fear clouds the circuitry in the brain and intercepts its messages that all systems are working fine.
So that is the challenge Laura and I had to overcome to convince her to ditch the training wheels and make the leap from four wheels to two.
The solution? I held the back of the seat to steady the bike while she pedaled and taught her brain and muscles to work in sync.
Oh, she had moments of fear, moments where she suddenly lost control and felt the bike falling beyond her ability to compensate. Her grip would tighten until her knuckles were white, her muscle would tense, and her eyes would widen like golf balls as she focused on the concrete racing by below her.
But it was at those times when she had lost control that I tightened my grip on her seat and steadied her bike, keeping her from experiencing what she most feared—falling.
“Trust me, Laura,” I would say. “I won’t let you fall.”
The Christian life is often like learning to ride a two-wheeler. We go peddling through life practicing our careful balancing act when we suddenly lose control. Fear rips at our mind as our spirit tenses and our heart races. Certain we’re going to fall, we brace ourselves for the pain that will ensue. But then we feel our Father’s grip of grace steady our soul and realign us with His plan.
“Don’t fear,” He says in a calming voice. “Just trust me; I won’t let you fall.”
Remember that God has His hand on your life at all times. He’s there, right beside you, ready and waiting to steady you when you falter. He never loosens His grip on your heart.