Sunday afternoon I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of taking the training wheels off my sonâ€™s bicycle. The whole family walked down to the elementary school parking lot down the street to watch and experience Tommyâ€™s first time riding a bike without training wheels.
As a father I was proud and excited for this season in his life and to see the determination in his eyes. I must say heâ€™s a quick learner, has some athletic bones in his body and I was quite impressed with how quickly he picked it up.
Hereâ€™s where I go all spiritual on you: When we first started out, I would walk alongside Tommy with one hand on the steering wheel and one hand on his neck/shirt (holding him upright). We did this for a while and then once I suddenly let go and he was on his own for a brief period. This excited us both and we started out again. This time he got going quicker and smoother and I let go again. Now this time he rode for a long way by himself and we all celebrated.
Each time I would go down to where he stopped (heâ€™s working on the turning thing) and help him get going again. One time I tried to have him start out all by himself and he said something that stopped me in my tracks: â€œDaddy, hold me while I get startedâ€¦ then let go.â€
I donâ€™t know why, but this struck a chord in my spirit. Hereâ€™s where my mind and heart went: Iâ€™m a dreamer, a visionary, a builder and have sort of an entrepreneurial spirit about me. What cut me deep is how many times I cry out to God to help me in the beginning of something and then after a while I lose that sense of dependence and say â€œIâ€™ve got it. You can let go now.â€
Now I know that I can only take this analogy so far. I know that I canâ€™t hold on to my son forever â€“ that heâ€™s got to be able to ride that bike by himself eventually (which he is doing now). It was the desperation, fear and urgency that I heard in my sonâ€™s voice as he called out to me that grabbed my attention.
I donâ€™t know who Iâ€™m speaking to. Maybe a church planter. Maybe a non-profit thatâ€™s in the early stages. Maybe someone whoâ€™s been serving somewhere for a long time and has become comfortable. Maybe just me.
Hear my heart: Letâ€™s never stop crying out to God and longing for His presence â€“ His hand to guide and hold us. I hope I never again (because I have before) get to a place where I say to God, â€œIâ€™ve got it now. You can let go.â€ I pray that for you as well.