Just Like Riding A Bike
My littlest boy just turned seven and received a "big boy" bike for his birthday.
His new bike sits a little higher, brakes differently and is a bit harder for him to handle than his old bike. Still, every day he rides he gains more skills, and becomes more and more confident.
But I have noticed that when he encounters atypical circumstances--a hard turn, a sudden drop, a steep hill--he tends to lose that confidence and overcompensates by sticking his leg out to stop, turning too hard, or any number of things that result in a spill, and occasionally some frustrated tears.
What I know that he doesn't is that at some point he'll become adept enough at riding that he won't be moving out in front of his skill.
This realization got me thinking about how so many of us often find ourselves in circumstances that invite us to move ahead in our faith into unfamiliar territories and new paths--sometimes beyond our comfortable beliefs and traditions.
Oswald Chambers once wrote, "Many people have turned back because they are afraid to look at things from God's perspective. The greatest spiritual crisis comes when a person has to move a little farther on in his faith than the beliefs he has already accepted."
And because we fear "taking a fall" when it comes to our faith, we are often tempted to avoid anything but the easiest, most familiar ways of thinking and believing even as God may be leading us forward into more challenging roads.
Maybe today you are feeling as though you are being asked to step out in faith ahead of what you have come to believe. Maybe you are feeling a bit wobbly, like you're losing control and about to take a spill.
To you I offer these beautiful words from the prophet Isaiah: "I shall hear a word behind me, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' whenever I turn to the right or the left."
Keep going. God is with you, ready to pick you up if you fall.
Live into this hope, and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.