Walk with me and work with me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. ~Matthew 11:29 ~THE MESSAGE Grab the Handlebars! "Once you learn to ride a bicycle you never forget how," is a quote from someone somewhere as well as a quote from a lot of people a lot of places . Who said that for the first time? I'm not sure. Probably someone who observed people attempting to learn to ride bicycles; researched those who stop riding temporarily; surveyed thousands of bike riders world wide; added up all the data and came up with this most scientific conclusion. More likely this quote came from someone who picked up a bike after thirty years of not riding and still knew how. I don't know. Is the quote always true? I'm not sure of that either. I do know I first learned to ride at the age of thirteen and have tested the "never forget how" theory several times throughout the years. When my kids were young I could still ride. When my grand kids got bikes I could still ride. So, so far so good. I have not forgotten (so far). I learned to ride late in life at the ripe old age of thirteen. I had a friend, Susan, who insisted that she teach me even though I did not want to learn. She sat on the seat pedaling and steering while I sat on the finder and held on. After several days, she told me to pedal and she would steer. I did. I learned to pedal a bicycle! I was amazed. Finally after weeks of the neighborhood spectacle of my pedaling while riding uncomfortably on the finder of the red Western Flyer, and Susan riding comfortably on the white padded seat steering, she jumped off and shouted,
"Grab the handlebars!" Without help from my friend where would I end up? You've probably heard the line "sink or swim" at that point in my life it was, "steer or crash." I stretched my arms as far as I could, reached and grabbed the handlebars tightly. I did not crash. I steered while sitting on the fender. It was an accomplishment. I rode a bicycle all by myself, without any help from my friend. For several months I rode from the fender. Finally, one day I decided it was time to relearn bike riding. I made the leap of graduating, moving up to the comfortable padded white seat. I did crash several times, but finally mastered bike riding, the way I felt God surely intended for bicycles to be ridden and I have never forgotten. Through out my life friends have come and gone, but I have never forgotten the friend who taught me(even though I didn't want to learn) to ride a bike, which is something I do still know how to do. Susan taught me to ride one way and I later relearned to ride another way which was a little more graceful. Today friends are still important and there are still many things they can teach, even when we don't want to learn. Thank God for those kind of friends, who tell us the truth even when we don't want to hear. And of course, there are still many things taught by friends that we may need to relearn. Thank God that He gives us the good sense to know when we can learn to do some things better. People learn something every day, and a lot of times it's that what they learned the day before was wrong." ~Bill Vaughan After we master one skill we should keep moving on to another skill and another. We must continually move higher is our lives, kind of like moving up from the fender to the seat. You see, once you learn something a certain way, sometime you have to relearn it a different way. Nothing remains the same, except for God alone. May we each hold on tightly and ride our lives out the way God intends. If we seek Him He will teach us to do all things. We will not crash! John 14:26 But when the Father sends the Counselor as my representative – and by the Counselor I mean the Holy Spirit – he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I myself have told you. jbp
"Grab the handlebars!"