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  • Writer's picture~Kimberly Oden

Just Like Riding a Bike

Whenever someone says, “It’s just like riding a bike!”, I am immediately transported back to the fall of 1976. It was the year I learned to ride a bike. My sixth birthday had arrived and my parents led me to the garage where a red, white and blue banana seat bike awaited. I was beyond excited and hesitant all at the same time because although this bike had streamers, stars, stripes and reflectors, it also didn’t have training wheels.

I have always been a planner, one who calculates the steps and risks involved, so I had a bazillion questions rattling through my thoughts as I wondered how the day was going to unfold.

My dad quickly led me outside and said, “Ok, Kimmie. How about you hop on and take a spin around the yard? I will hold the back of the bike and walk with you.”

I mean did he forget who his daughter was? She’s a planner. She calculates everything all the time and the risk involved seemed massive! (Keep in mind this was before helmets and pads!) My nervous and fear-filled thoughts were immediately interrupted by another invitation from my father to hop on…

Ever so hesitantly I did.

He said, “Ok, I’ve got you. Begin pedaling.”

I did and suddenly to my surprise I was moving forward steady as can be! I said, “Dad this is amazing! I think I’ve got it! I don’t know what I was so worried about! Should I turn around or should we keep going forward into the neighbor’s yard? Dad? Dad?...”

He didn’t answer because as I looked behind me he was yards away! I had been biking all on my own and didn’t even know it! Ay Yi Yi! I suddenly panicked wondering what to do, how I was even doing it, then I began to slow down and the bike began to wobble and yes, down I went!

As I learned to ride a bike that day, I felt a little bit of scared and a whole lot of reckless. It reminds me of the day I chose to follow the wooing of my Heavenly Father. I was only in fifth grade at the time but I remember my teacher sharing the gospel in our little class and feeling the prompting to accept the invitation to follow my Heavenly Father.

Sometimes following Him feels like that day – it feels a little bit of scary and sometimes a whole lot of reckless, but as I look back on the many years of following and the sprinkled years when I didn’t, I can testify to His ever-present faithfulness. There have been moments when I have called on His name and He didn’t seem to answer. There were moments of panic when I tried to figure things out, when I stopped believing that my Father in heaven had things handled, and then there were moments when I chose to trust like a little girl who believes that her dad hung the moon! And not only did He hang it, He created it along with the heavens and the earth!

As Father’s Day approaches, I wonder if we could use this special day or remembrance not only to celebrate our earthly fathers, but to also remember the faithfulness of our Heavenly Father? I wonder if when things get uncertain and we just don’t know what to do, that instead of panicking and trying to figure things out, we choose to follow Him with the same sort of reckless abandon we had when we learned to ride a bike?

Just this morning I read Psalm 131:1-3 in my One Year Bible. The psalmist proclaims,

My heart is not proud and my eyes are not lofty.

I do not concern my self with matters too great or too awesome for me.

Instead I have calmed and quieted my soul within me.

O Israel, put your hope in the Lord – now and always.

I LOVE this verse as it is such a picture of a child-like trust, hope and faith. As Father's Day approaches, may it be a springboard to help us remember that our Faithful Heavenly Father is worthy of following with the same sort of reckless abandon we had when we first learned to ride a bike! Whenever fear tempts us to forget, may returning to trust in Him be as easy as riding a bike!

Oh, Father in heaven, thank you for your ever-present faithfulness! I thank you for amazing dads who reflect your undying love! And Lord some of us might have dads that just haven’t been there over the years or worse yet, dads who hurt us deep. I thank you Lord to know that was not Your plan for the position of father. I thank you that regardless of our earthly father’s presence or lack thereof, we can choose to follow you with the same sort of reckless abandon that we had when we learned to ride a bike. When things are difficult, when we are faced with fear and we just don’t know what to do, may we keep our gaze fixed on You, the Author and Perfecter of our faith! Our Father whose steadfast love and faithfulness never fail! We love you, Father, and collectively choose to honor and glorify Your Name this Father’s Day!

P.S. I have had this song on repeat this week – titled, “Hello Fear” by Kirk Franklin. The lyrics address fear as it were a person…it has so ministered to my heart as I am reminded that the seat fear once occupied has now been reserved for my faithful Father who is ever in my corner. Hope it blesses you as it has me!


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