Watching my kids learn how to ride a bike has been a complete joy… That is until my most recent rider started learning. Like her siblings before her, it appeared she just needed some more space and she would take off… Well, her dad took her to the park… Then I took her to the park… She could totally do it… Then for some weird reason she would slightly wobble, and then run off the path and crash.
When I asked her what was wrong, she told me she didn’t know how to ride.
I quickly learned the problem was not that she couldn’t ride, but that she was scared. Every time she was almost riding on her own, she would close her eyes and drive off the path. I called her out on it. I told her she needed to admit she was afraid and tell herself everything was going to be ok.
Well, that trip to the park felt like a failure, but the next day she was riding all over our back yard on her own. She had finally conquered her fear but first she had to admit she had that fear.
Fast forward a few months…
Today I took my kids to the park. The older four rode their bikes along the path as the younger two ran all over the playground and it rained down leaves on us. (It was seriously the most beautiful autumn day!) Then I saw her go to a nice sized hill. I was super proud of her for doing it. But guess what happened… halfway down the hill, she got scared, closed her eyes, and drove off the path… but the momentum of the hill actually gave her quite the crash.
After I made sure she was ok, I told her what I saw, “You got scared, closed your eyes, and drove off the path just like you used to do. You can do it. Try again. Use your breaks and keep your eyes on the path.” She did. Hill conquered. Fear conquered again. But that fear doesn’t just go away. It has to be addressed every time it shows up, or it will control her and tell her she can’t do it.
The coolest thing was as soon as her siblings saw what happened, they were right beside her encouraging her, telling her they used to be scared too. They rode together, going up and down the hill, testing brakes, smiling, and taking new hills.
We all lose sight sometimes. We stumble. We fall. We need someone to come alongside of us, call out our problem, encourage us, share their struggles and experiences, and help us overcome our own.
We need each other.
Keep your eyes on the prize AND help others do the same!
“…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2).“