For the past three years, I've been trying to teach my now 7 year old son, how to ride his bike. It was pretty easy at first a la training wheels. BUT, since I am a cyclist, I decided last Saturday was the day he would learn. I had even cooked up a grand scheme to take him to a huge parking lot, and have the glorious Dad's "Push Off" moment that you see on tv. Well, I did have that moment, sort of...
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I took my son Will down to the local community college parking lot and unloaded his 16" Tonka Truck Bicycle. The first thing I noticed, as I hastened him to jump aboard, was the fact that the bike was too small for him. But not only was it too small, it was a bit young looking for him as well with all the Yellow paint and Tonka Truck stickers. I made sure not to say anything about it, but I think he was thinking the same thing.
Putting all of these things aside, I raised the seat up as high as possible and put him on it. The first problem he had was getting started. No problem I thought, I would just run beside him with my hand on his back pushing him around. This worked great for the first hour. Then it started to get a little tiring.
That's when I told Will, "I'm going to give you a push and run beside you, but I'm not going to hold you up".
He told me, "But I'll fall Dad".
"No you wont"
"Yes I will"
"NO you wont!"
"YES I Will!"
We argued like this for about five minutes, with such furor that hasn't been seen since Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck held the famous Duck Season/Rabbit Season debate. But ultimately, I caved in, and told him I wouldn't let go of him Even though, in the back of my mind, that was exactly what I was going to do.
To give Will some credit, by this time, he had the basic pedaling, steering and braking down pat. However, the whole starting and stopping thing needed some help. I knew this and was ready to catch him if needed, but then again, I knew that if he fell, he really couldn't hurt himself too bad, and it would probably be a valuable lesson.
The moment came... I lined him up, gave him a rolling start, ran behind pushing him, then I lightly let him slip away on his own. I don't think he noticed I had let go until he was about 100 feet away and I heard him say, "Dad, what time is it". When I didn't answer, the panic button went on in his head and he started screaming:
"DAD! DAD! DADDY! DADDY! I'm GOING TO WRECK"
He was screaming his head off, but the funny thing was, he was riding and doing really good!
I stood there calmly and watched until he came to a stop, jumped off his bike, and threw a little fit about how I shouldn't have let go. As soon as he was finished with this little tantrum about how he could have wrecked, I simply said,
"But I had faith in you that you wouldn't, and you didn't wreck."
Ain't that just like God? He runs beside us, cheering us on, pushing us as needed and when we are ready, he lets us go on our own. We may get angry and argue with him, but he ultimately knows best for us, and does not give us more than we can handle.
So, He is there cheering for you, watching out, and will help you by His will. The problem most of us have is that we are too used to playing it safe and afraid to let him give us the push off into somewhere we may have never been, or may not have ever wanted to go to before. If we'd just trust in Him, He really does know best. But the thing most of us miss, is the fact that even though we may feel like he is far away and won't see us when we fall, he's actually right there ready to pick us up, dust us off, encourage us, put us back on our bike, and get us going again.