Learning to Ride (Again)
We recently got our daughter a proper “big girl” bike. She was learning to ride without training wheels last summer and is back at it again now that spring is here. Pride and excitement swell up inside me when I see that moment of confidence take over. As I run alongside her with my hand on her back, I can see the swerving begin to stop and I slowly let go and watch as she rides on.
Our Christian walk can be like riding a bike. We need training wheels at first, but the more we learn, the more confident we become, and eventually, the training wheels have to come off. The writer of Hebrews makes a similar point.
“You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.” (Hebrews 5:12-14)
Once the training wheels are off, you can imagine God the Father running alongside you, watching intently for that moment when the confidence takes over—not confidence in Self, of course, but in the Spirit, knowing that He has taken residence inside you and you have nothing to fear.
“The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” (Psalm 118:6)
But there’s a problem many of us face as adults: we can go decades without riding a bike, and once we decide to get back on, things can be wobbly. We can swerve and feel insecure. We know how to ride the bike, but inexperience brings a lack of confidence. The same is true for our Spiritual Journey. If we take a break, if we decide to leave the Narrow Path and spend time on the wide path, if we go days, weeks, months, years, without training, without reading, studying, and learning God’s Word, growing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, and talking to others about Christ, we can lack the confidence we should have in the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, and God the Father. When we “come to our senses” as the prodigal did, we can feel a bit wobbly along the Narrow Path. Doubts and fears can fill our hearts and minds. We may swerve, stumble, and fall.
“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:14)
It is so important to stay on the Narrow Path, to stay in the Word, and to have people in your life who are traveling along with you. Like the child who learns to ride without training wheels and practices every day, if you stay on the Narrow Path, if you stay in the Word and with Brothers and Sisters along the way, it is very unlikely you will swerve and fall.
“So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-15)
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25)
“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left.” (Hebrews 10:26)
So let’s never forget how to ride on this Narrow Path upon which God has called us. As Jesus said, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you.” Stay in Him, stay in the Word, stay in the community of believers.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.