It seems my daughter and son-in-law together have been using the warm temperatures to teach my oldest grandson how to ride a bike. When I clicked on the play button, I beheld my grandson wobbling back and forth as he bravely made his way forward down the street.
It was obvious that he was at once both terrified and exhilarated. As each successive video came though, it was also obvious that his confidence level grew with each attempt. Much like the Wright Brothers at Kill Devil Hill, his first attempts were short, jerky, uncoordinated affairs. But by the time he had undertaken his fifth or sixth sortie, his skills were noticeably improved.
The last video showed him barreling down the sidewalk with a huge grin on his face as rode into the waiting arms of his mother. Apparently, he is still working on his stopping technique.
Kudos to him! He has now undergone a rite for passage for the all-American kid. And having learned to ride a bike, he will never unlearn it. Moreover, having mastered a bicycle, he will soon be moving on to other vehicles. Such is the way life works.
But kudos go out as well to his parents. First, to his mother (and my daughter), who patiently nurtured him to this point. After all, she has been there with him every step of the way in his short life. She was there when he was born, when he learned to roll over, to sit up, to crawl, to walk, and to run.
But I want here to give a particular shout-out to his father (and my son-in-law). His dad has been with him every step of the way in life as well. The video clips well illustrate this, as his father is literally there beside him, from the first attempt at balancing to his ultimate mastering of the process of riding a bike. With each press of a peddle, his father can be seen at his side, coaching him and encouraging him in his dogged quest to succeed.
As I watched this process unfolding, I was reminded of the role my own father played in my life. He too stood by my side. He too coaxed and cajoled and cheered me as I sought to make my way forward in life. I thank God for that man. I hope that I was able to do much the same for my own three children.
But these events have also reminded me of the role my Heavenly Father plays in my life. As the One Who gave me life, and endowed me with certain skills and resources, He knows all that I am capable of. And for this reason, He faithfully walks with me and talks with me as I make my way through this world.
When I need instruction, He provides it. When I need encouragement, He provides it. When I need assistance, He provides this as well. And yes, when I need discipline, He also provides this. At every turn, in every situation, on every day, He is faithful to be my side, fulfilling His promise never to leave me nor forsake me. For that, I am grateful.
Along the way, I have no doubt that He rejoices at my victories. I also have no doubt that He grieves over my failures. But in the end, with His help, even though I may stumble and fall in the process, I have learned that eventually, I can do all things through Him Who strengthens me! I hope you have a similar testimony.
My grandson has learned a valuable lesson. He has now mastered the art of riding a bicycle. In due time, though, I trust that he will come to see that he has gained much more from this and similar life experiences. I pray that he will grasp the fact that he has been provided with a father who loves him and walks by his side.
Even more, I pray that he will one day grasp the fact that he also has a loving and compassionate Heavenly Father Who stands by him as well. For this single realization will do more to compel him forward in life than anything else he ever discovers.