Wanna hear a pathetic funny story? A few months ago, I spotted an old ten-speed bike leaning against a wooden fence in my parents' backyard. Since I hadn't ridden in years, I hopped on the bike to see how well I remembered. You know what they say: "You never forget how to ride a bike." So, I decided to test the theory.
Well, almost immediately after I got on, I had trouble controlling the bike. It kept falling over before I could begin pedaling. So, I tried it a few more times and... same problem. "Hmmm, something must be wrong with this bike," I thought to myself. "Or perhaps I'm just a little rusty."
Then, all of a sudden, a memory came rushing back to me. When I was about eight years old, I wanted to learn to ride my sister's pink and gray "Huffy". Remember those? So, my dad guided the seat for me until I got the hang of it. I was so excited... until he let me go, that is. I was OK at first. I pedaled as fast as I could; I heard Dad's voice shouting, "Go! That's it! Pedal! You've got it!" I was simultaneously scared out of my mind and extremely excited. I'm not sure which emotion was strongest.
Anyhow, after about ten seconds (which felt more like ten years by the way) of riding that little huffy unassisted with my little ponytails blowing in the wind... something went wrong. Terribly wrong! When I was nearing the end of the street, I realized that I didn't know how to use the brakes on the bike. Oh no. I didn't want to roll out into the street.
Scared, frustrated and confused, I panicked and ended up ramming that bike right into a huge wooden light post; I was particularly embarrassed, as well as a little frazzled and banged up. Thankfully though, I tumbled off the bike just before skidding into oncoming traffic. When I tell you I was traumatized I mean I was really traumatized!
After that day, I never got on a bike again. And it wasn't until I attempted to ride the one at my parents' place a few months ago, that I realized I had never learned to ride. Moral of the story? Fear will rob you. Plain and simple. If you allow it to take over your life, you'll give up when you should be pressing on. You'll be resisting when you should be persisting. You'll be worrying when you should be believing...all because of your very own fear.
I told my husband, "I can't believe I don't know how to ride a bike!" Needless to say he thought it was pretty hilarious. Now, despite how pathetic that may seem, at one time or another, we have all allowed fearfulness to rob us of something, haven't we? I know it's true. When we get hurt, disappointed, or challenged beyond what we think we can handle, it's easy to altogether withdraw. At least then we won't have to deal with our fear and strive to overcome it. We'll just throw our hands up and stop trying.
But God doesn't want us to live that way. We can't lay hold of our destiny if we're quitters. Remind yourself that God hasn't given us the spirit of fear. (2 Timothy 1:7) The Lord desires for us to be courageous and confident in His faithfulness to take care of us. When we refuse to allow fear to dominate and control us, the more God can do in us and through us.
When the Lord is with you, there's no need to worry about anything. Just keep moving forward, keep pedaling on and don't be discouraged if you fall down. God will lift you up if you hang in there through the hard and uncertain times.
Perhaps, since I'm no longer afraid, I'll learn to ride a bike this year =-)... stay tuned for that one.
As always, thanks for reading, and until next time... may you be empowered to prosper!