Thursday, November 7, 2019

Biking or Bumbling



"Don't assume that you know it all" (Proverbs 5:&7 MSG).

Learning to ride a bike sometimes results in scratches, sore muscles, and maybe even broken bones––two out of three is my experience. Yes, just one experience––a memorable one. A memory of my son's seventh birthday. He got a bike and so did I. Warning: Don't learn to ride a bike at the same time your kids are learning.

So, what I can tell you about my biking experience is this. I was young! My son couldn't wait to ride. And, how hard could it be to sit on two wheels and stay upright? Pretty hard, I found out.

The July sun beamed down on the shiny new bikes. My son and I walked our bikes down the driveway and across the highway onto a less-traveled mountain road. Earlier that day, my husband pleaded for me to wait until he came home so we could all be together for this memory-making venture. Knowing our son couldn't wait to mount that new bike, he conceded and agreed to join the adventure when he arrived home later.

I helped my son up to the seat. He got the hang of it quickly while I played the role of traffic police until my turn. Then my turn, I sat with the posture of a natural cyclist even though I had no idea about brakes or speeds or balance. Determined to do this thing, I pushed the peddles while my son took a turn as traffic police.

With one push of the peddles, I sped into the wind. Whoa, what fun! Fun yes, until I had no idea how to brake. Panic set in as the wheels seemed to lift from the pavement under me. How to stop? What if a car came over the little noll? Think, I told myself! The only place to go and the only way to stop, I headed into a fence. Crash! But, a big bush kept me from a fall.

My son couldn't keep the tears from falling over his sweet face. I assured him I'd be okay. We walked those bikes home while I tried not to limp. The experience never deterred that seven-year-old from learning to ride––but I put my bike up for sale that very night.

Sometimes God nudges us to avoid a bumbling outcome. And, sometimes He pushes us into a fence instead of a dangerous fall on the pavement while He teaches us we don't know it all, but He does. We see God's hand that guides us to safety instead of falling into a dangerous situation.

I'm sure God's hand held me up that day and kept me from falling. I learned this, "...don't try to figure everything out on your own" (Proverbs 3:6 MSG). Sometimes we go ahead of Him as I did that day by not waiting for my husband who knew how to ride a bike. Sometimes He uses others to teach us.

My biking experience certainly taught me a lesson about how to wait on God and allow Him to direct my steps. When we are out of step with God, it's a dangerous place to be and may end on a pavement with bruises or even worse. Even so, He promises He will direct us in the way we should go––even into the bushes to lessen our injures from going our own way and not waiting on Him.

"Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track" (Proverbs 3:6 MSG).

Have you gone off track and crashed into the bushes thinking you know it all––as I've done more than once? So, how do we avoid the proverbial crashes and bushes?

Listen for God's voice. He'll keep you on track. The key is...drumroll please: Listen to His voice by reading His word, praying, obeying and learning from our circumstances.

I finally learned to ride a bike while passing through mid-life. But even now in my seventh decade, I still strive to trust God for less bumbling and more proverbial "biking" without crashes because He does know it all. I am still learning to ride my proverbial bike. How about you?