This weekend, my six-year-old son Kyle and I decided to go on a bike ride around the block to get out of the house and get a little exercise. Mommy doesn’t have a bike so she walked.
But halfway through our ride we had a problem – one of Kyle’s training wheels came loose. He was stuck, unable to move. So we had two choices: either Kyle and I could walk the bike back home or I could go back and grab a wrench. (At least I think it was a wrench. I’m not handy so it could have been a hammer. I have no idea.) We decided that he’d stay with mommy and I’d go back home real quick to get the wrench (hammer?) and come back to fix the bike so he could keep on riding.
It wasn’t until I started tightening the loose training wheel that I realized how small the bike was. Or maybe Kyle is just so much bigger now. Either way, the bike wasn’t the right fit anymore.
We have a bigger bike that we bought a few months ago that fits him perfectly. It’s the right size for him. And it doesn’t have any training wheels. He should love it. But Kyle doesn’t want to ride the big bike. He likes his small one, even though it’s starting to look like a circus bike being ridden by a circus clown. The big bike is the next step up for Kyle, but the small one is familiar and safe to him.
I asked him if he wanted to try it and he said, “No”. I asked why and he said, “Because I’m scared.”
I thought about how so many of us go through life like this. We’ve outgrown the “bikes” in our lives. Instead of moving to the next level, the bigger bike, we stall out. We get comfortable where we are, even though where we are may not be where we’re supposed to be. We’re scared that we may fall and skin a knee. What we don’t realize is that in order to get to the next level in our lives, in any area, we have to remove the training wheels and we have to eventually move to the bigger bike. We have to take the risk if we want the reward. And yes, it is scary. We probably will skin a knee.
It’s good to take a long, hard look at the “bikes” in our lives from time to time to figure out if they still fit us. If they do, great – fill up those tires and keep on riding. If we have crutches that we’re leaning on and keeping us from growing, it may be time to take off the training wheels. And if our rides are starting to look a little like they belong to a circus clown, it may be time to move to a bigger bike.