Time to Remove the Training Wheels?


My Father steadied me as I took my first few rounds without the training wheels to guide me.

After I thought I had everything down, I said, “I got this, Father! I see how this works! I will go out on my own now, and I will see You later!”

Brokenhearted, but proud, He let me take off, knowing that just a short distance ahead was a hill that I would have to go down on my own, without Him to steady me.

He watched, tears in His eye, as I raced off, as fast as I could, into a land that stretched out before me, the end of which I couldn’t see.

And all of a sudden, as I approached the end of the sidewalk, I forgot what He’d taught me. “I’m always here for you, my child.” He had whispered over and over again in my ear. “Just call on Me, and I will come running.”

But my stubborn heart thought I could manage without Him, and I gripped the handlebars tightly, and stood up, wanting to make Him proud of me, seeing me about to tackle this ride downhill all on my own.

I looked back, to Him smiling at me, tears in His eyes. “Why is He crying?” I flippantly thought to myself. “I got this!”

But as I turned around to face the hill in front of me, I saw that there were a lot more rocks than I had realized previously. I got scared, and in my prideful heart, I gripped my handlebars even tighter, determined to make it down this slope without falling. But before I even began, the first rock I hit blew my tire.

Instantly, without warning, I flew over the handlebars, landing, skidding, tumbling, and sliding down the jagged rocky slop that once looked so lush and green.
I lay there, at the bottom, dazed. I couldn’t see my Father. “Why did I take off, away from His grasp?” I wondered aloud. Then my thoughts became bitter. “Why did He let me? Why didn’t He hold onto me, and not let me go? He knew I was going to fall.”

I looked down at my arms and legs. Gashes were torn in my flesh, and blood was everywhere. My body was writhing in pain, and my head hurt. “I must have knocked it against a rock, too,” I thought. Then, almost as if He was speaking into my heart, I thought, “Why didn’t I wear the helmet He gave me? He told me it was for my protection.”

I lay there, wallowing in my own pain, and regretting that I had taken off from my Father. “He would have kept His hand on me and steadied me,” I assured myself. Then, in rebuke, I turned inward on my own heart. “I was stubborn, and I took off all on my own, even though He said there were still more things I needed to learn.” I cried aloud, “Father, why didn’t I listen to Y—-”

And before I even could finish—He was there. He held me in His arms, and kissed me on the forehead. He picked me up, wiping the dirt off of me, and He took me to a rock, sat down, and let me curl up in His lap, my head against His chest. “Father, I’m sorry!” I cried, my defiance melting completely away.

“I love you, My child.” He assured me, as He cleaned my wounds, bandaging me from the damage I had caused to my own body. He cleaned me, reassured me, held me close, and just let me cry.

After a while, I became emboldened again. I knew that He was there, and He would not leave my side. I knew that I might have to learn some lessons the hard way, but that when I called upon Him, He would be there. But, I also knew that I didn’t want to run away from His protective hand again, either. I wanted to let Him help me, guide my every step. Because the less I depended on me, and the more I depended on Him, the less likely I would get hurt—or hurt someone else.

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