Knee and shoulder pads? Check.

Thirst for adventure with the realistic anticipation of falling?


We are bike riding now. And by “we,” I mean she speeds along as fast as her little legs will take her, while I walk a supervisory distance behind, mug of tea in hand, gratitude in heart, and prayer on my lips.

And all of a sudden, we are in a new season of life. A “big-kid-bike-riding-season.” Man, they grow up fast. I feel like I learn something new in parenthood every day. Often, the more I see of our 5 year old meeting the world, I want to be just like her as I grow up.

It was never a question of when she would fall. We all simply knew that she would.  But we also knew that she had the proper equipment, knew where she would be riding, and knew to keep her from the obvious dangers of careening off parked cars and cliffs.

She has taken to having her first bike with more zeal than fear, and complete trust in her “Hello Kitty” safety gear. Each time she meets the pavement, she jumps up with a hearty “I’m okay, I have my stuff on! I can still do this!”

Can I tell you? I love how this process of learning to ride is overall drama free. There isn’t frustration, or doubt, or fear, or second guessing. When she falls, we don’t have deep philosophical conversations on the possibility of getting up and riding again. We just do.

God equips us the same way – with His Word and His Spirit and His love, and His tangibility in provision and relationship. Here. Available. Present. Covering our head, our heart, even our knees and elbows.

And still here, available, and present when we do fall. Because we will. Why am I still surprised at this? Because somewhere deeply imbedded in my performance based matrix in my brain, I deeply disdain the thought of not doing well. I don’t like to fall. Sometimes, I don’t jump up so quickly. Sometimes, mentally, I want to stay down and hunker in doubt about that guidance that God provides.  For some reason, it seems safer that way, hanging out on the pavement, waiting for the green light to get back up and go again. Silly me. That green light is there all along. It doesn’t go away just because I take my eyes off of it.

Life isn’t about avoiding the falls, it is about growing our trust in God’s grace so that each time we do fall, we joyfully get back up. What is it for you? Parenting? Pursuing a passion? A Career change? A Relationship? When we walk through our days looking all grown up and important, (doing important grown up things), we sometimes lose sight of His protection and provision.  It may not be so obvious as bright pink “Hello Kitty” elbow pads, but it is there.

And somewhere, deep inside us, that child is telling us to get back up, dust ourselves off, and heartily say,”I can still do this.”