Mom Teaching Daughter to ride a bike

Just Keep Pedaling…Just Keep Pedaling…

My 5-year old has reached a major childhood milestone – riding a bike with no training wheels! That’s what all the TV shows talk about when someone finds out they’re expecting, right? “Oh, I can’t wait to teach them how to ride a bike,” play ball, etc.

I absolutely love riding bikes (and teach an indoor cycling class), so I’ve been waiting for this day a long time. She has always been physically advanced for her age – she’s got speed, coordination, and can climb anything (she gets all that from her daddy…definitely not me).

I started out teaching her to ride in our side yard (grass => (hopefully) less boo-boos) and it seemed like she just wasn’t getting it. Which, admittedly, was strange and a tad frustrating. I kept cheering her on, encouraging her to pedal, and untwisting her legs from the bike when she fell. Slowly, she worked herself up to riding about 5 yards before losing her balance and I gradually moved her to the pavement.

And then one day, it clicked.

It was seriously like she just woke up (the weekend of her 5th birthday) and said “I think I’ll master my bike today.”

It was amazing.

learning to put first things first

First Things First

Before that magical moment of mastery, I kept thinking of all the things I still had to teach her – how to turn, coast, slow, and STOP. But, she couldn’t even keep her balance going in a straight line.

She couldn’t bear those other things yet. We had to start at the beginning. We had to build a foundation.

What good would it have done her if I was teaching her to ride in a circle while she couldn’t keep her balance for more than a few seconds. And why would she need to coast before she figures out that mommy’s just not saying “just keep pedaling…just keep pedaling…” for fun? How would it have made any sense to teach her to stop before she learned to go?

“You Can’t Bear Them Now”

You know, Jesus did the same thing with his disciples.

In John, chapter 16, Jesus is giving the apostles a heads up for things to come – that life will be hard for them and that they will face persecution. He even tells them that they will be put out of the synagogue (the center of Jewish life and culture at the time) and some will think they are doing it for God or in His name!

As Jesus prepares to go to the cross, He shares these things with them that He had not previously divulged. But even though He’s sharing new information in this scene – He still doesn’t share everything.

I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

John 16:12

In fact, the passage goes on to say that Jesus would not be the one to share these unknown things with them – that the Holy Spirit would be the one to guide them to these truths.

To be effective, a teacher (or parent) needs to know how much their student or child can handle. And sometimes, that means keeping things from them for a time.

A Natural Progression

I tease my girls about things being done “decently and in order” (referencing 1 Corinthians 14:40) when they are getting a little chaotic, but really, there’s a lot of truth in that that applies to so many things.

Order doesn’t just exist arbitrarily, there is a pattern and natural process to be followed.

Think about babies. Newborns aren’t born with toddler, or heaven forbid, teenage characteristics right from the get-go. Although I did have a nightmare one time that our oldest would be born at 3 years old and with a full mouth of teeth. Babies learn to hold their head up first, then roll, sit, crawl, stand, and then lastly walk (well, mostly run in my experience).

A Final Lesson

Thinking back on our bike lessons, I realized that riding through the grass may have not been the easiest thing for her. There are several bumps, dips, ANTS, and sections of thick grass to fight through. But as soon as she hit the pavement, everything smoothed out and she took off with flying colors.

The same thing goes for our lives – sometimes, especially when we’re learning a new lesson, things are really hard and we have to grind it out. But as soon as you make it through, things become easier. What was once challenging becomes second nature…”just like riding a bike.”

Pedaling through hard times allows you to coast through and enjoy the easier times.

Enjoy the ride.

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