Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Training wheels

We purchased a bicycle for Asha and Enoch. A beautiful blue sporty number - with rainbow wheels. A basket (with a monkey picture in front), a bell that rings merrily, and a set of training wheels - what more could you ask for?

How fast Asha and Enoch are on the bike. Zipping here, turning there. The happy parents are getting a good dose of cardio. Every evening when Enoch wakes up from his nap - its downstairs to the bike. And when Asha comes home from school - a few rounds before it gets dark.

Then we decided to change the bike a bit. Off came the training wheels. And suddenly everything is different.

The parents have to run faster - and hold the seat while Asha and Enoch try to balance. The falls have started. Tears. 'I don't want to cycle'. 'I want the training wheels back on.'

I thought back to a sunny afternoon many years ago. I had been given a small cycle which Mum's uncle Karl had contstructed using parts found in the near-by scrapyard. We were in dusty Versova - a small village in those days. Dad ran along - behind my 5 year-old self - holding the back of the seat. 'Don't let go Daddy' I called. He did. I fell. My short pants did not protect my knees. Again up. Again on. 'Don't let go Daddy...'

Then the magical moment. 'Don't let go Daddy' - but he was far behind - I had gone on my own for a significant stretch without knowing it.

After that there was no going back. Scrapes or no scrapes - I had to ride.

Asha and Enoch are not quite there yet. The training wheels are back on. They are happy. But it is the happiness of limitations. I yearn for them to leave the wheels behind. To stop driving a big tricycle (quadricycle?) and to do justice to the beautiful blue bike they have.

Isn't it true for most of our life's experiences? We hold on to the familiar, the safe - even though it is so much less than what our heavenly Father wants for us.

'Don't let go Daddy' we cry out.

'Ouch - why did you let us fall?'

Its only rarely that we look back and see God allowing us to take the exhilerating swoop of freedom that comes from doing what He has made us to be.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
This is what the ancients were commended for. Heb 11.1-2

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