Training Wheels

Daddy's with youLast weekend, my daughter decided it was time to take off the training wheels and really learn to ride a bike. A friend of hers recently did the same, and so it seems a bit of positive peer pressure had been exerted.

It was an exciting moment as I pulled out the wrench and took them off. My daughter was excited, too.

Until she got on the bike.

Then the fears took over. “I’m going to fall!” she kept saying. And as much as I reassured her that I was right there with her and I wouldn’t let her fall, she just couldn’t get past the fear. I knew she was perfectly safe, but in that moment, my certainty wasn’t enough for her. 

We persevered and practiced several laps up and down the driveway, but we ended up eventually putting the training wheels back on. We’ll try again soon, I’m sure. All in good time.

As I reflect on that experience, it’s easy to draw the analogy of how we relate to God in the midst our fears. Despite reassurance from the promises of his Word and the very presence of his Spirit, we can so often give in to our fears. Why is that? Like the disciples caught in the storm, we forget the power of the one who is with us. “Oh you of little faith, why are you so afraid?” he asks (Matt 8:26).

Peacemaking RiderBut hopefully there are times when we persevere through the fear, and by his grace, do what he is calling us to do. In small moments of obedience, we are more and more conformed to the likeness of Christ. Like riding a bike, it doesn’t happen all at once. Not at all.  But he who begins a good work in us is faithful to complete it. All in good time.

NOTE: I probably wouldn’t have blogged about any of this were it not for my daughter’s attire in the picture–a relic of the backyard bible club on peacemaking that my church’s youth put on every summer. How could I pass that up? (But in case you ever wondered if wearing a peacemaking t-shirt is in any way advantageous when you are learning to ride a bicycle, the answer is no.)

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About Fred Barthel

I've been on staff with Peacemaker Ministries since 2000, working with IT, web, communications, and marketing. I currently serve as Director of Marketing and Communications (though my background is in engineering... go figure!). I'm a lay leader at my church, I'm married to Tara (who you might know as co-author of the book Peacemaking Women), and I'm the father of two little girls. My life is rich with opportunities to observe conflict and reconciliation!

2 thoughts on “Training Wheels

  1. is there a Backyard Bible Peacemaking Kit available….wonderful idea!!!
    attended my first conference in Charlotte and it was truly life changing….praying for God to direct my steps.
    Orlando not possible:(

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