Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Handlebars of Life

I got it in my head one day that I was going to try and ride my bike without using my hands. Much to my surprise, this challenge was easier than I anticipated. In my first attempt, I went ‘hands free’ for several hundred yards on one of the back roads near my house…and so a challenge was born. How far can I ride my bike without using my hands? 

The next tyme I set out on the same road, I tried again and got farther than I had the tyme before. After a few weeks, I found myself going up and down the road’s small hills with more ease and zooming along its expanses with little effort, all while sitting up straight and relying on my legs to pull me along. 

Then one day I decided that it would be a significant accomplishment to ride hands free from the beginning of the road to the first intersection, a two mile stretch. I did it.  I was excited and amazed.  That evening when a friend asked me about my day, I relayed the story and details of my accomplishment.

“How in the world can you ride two miles without using your hands to balance? Weren’t you terrified that you’d fall?”, my friend asked in earnest.  I smiled and replied with a simple “Nope”. After some discussion, I finally said, “I wasn’t afraid I would fall because my handlebars were right there. All I had to do if I felt uneasy or started to lose my balance was reach out and take hold of them. Knowing that made it easy to relax and enjoy the ride.”

The next tyme I set out on my hands free route, I thought about the conversation I had with my friend and I realized that what I said to her related just as much to life as it did to my bike riding accomplishment, but lately I’d been failing to apply it. 

I’d been dealing with a lot of fears in my day to day life. I’d been focusing on the “what ifs” and the “if onlys”. I’d been worrying about what to do and where to go and from where the money I needed was going to come. I was losing my balance and terrified that I was going to fall. I was afraid to take chances, afraid to follow the path that God was leading me down, afraid to simply try.

How was it that I could ride two miles on my bike relying on my own balance, but I couldn’t trust Mighty Creator and Controller of the Universe to balance me in my walk of life? As I sat straight backed atop my bicycle seat I realized that just like my handlebars, God is there for me to take hold of when I feel like I’m about to fall, all I have to do is reach out to Him and take hold. Knowing that, I have no reason to fear the things in my day to day life. Whatever He asks me to do or whatever I set out to do looking to honor Him, I have assurance that simply cannot fall.

Proverbs 3: 5 & 6 says:
Trust in the
Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

To date, I’ve ridden my bike more than three miles at a tyme without taking hold of the handlebars. Just knowing I can reach down and to find my balance is enough to give me the confidence I need to accomplish my goal. And now, especially when I ride, I remember that God is my handlebars in life. He’s always there for me to take hold of, but unlike my bike which might, He never lets go of me.