To close our Spring Training series at North Way, I wrote a little story:
There once was a little boy that desperately wanted to learn how to ride a bike without the training wheels. So, he went to his dad before bed on a Friday night and said, “Dad, can you teach me how to ride my bike without training wheels?” Excited to spend time with him, the dad said, “Absolutely, first thing in the morning.” The little boy went to bed so excited to learn. As the dad closed the door, he knew that his son was in for quite the lesson. The morning sun was barely in the sky when the little boy burst into his Father’s room. “Dad, I want to learn how to ride my bike today. You said we could do it first thing in the morning. Can we go? Can we do it now?” Even though his body was tired, he was excited to be with his son, so he rolled out of bed, got the bike out, took the training wheels off, and they headed to the park.
After reminding his son of the basics of riding a bike like balance and pedaling and stopping with the brakes, the dad was helping the boy with his hand always on the bike seat. The little boy was ready to try riding his bike all on his own. The boy got up the courage, and with one turn of the pedal he lost his balance. He fell right off the bike. The dad was right there to pick him up, and he said, “That’s OK son, good try. Let’s get back on the bike and try it again.” A little bit frustrated, the boy tried to pedal again and got a few feet and fell again. “Good job son!” the dad shouted, but the boy didn’t feel like it was a good job. Feeling upset with himself, he tried once more, and he went even further than before and was gaining speed, but he got off balance again and crashed hard this time scraping his knee, and he started to cry. “I can’t do it”, the son said.
The dad came running up and said, “Great job, son! Did you see how far you got that time? I’m so proud of you. Well done!” Looking confused, the little boy said, “but I fell off my bike again. I don’t want to do this anymore. I can’t do it!” But the dad bent down, took his son in his arms, cleaned up his booboo, looked in his little boy’s eyes and pointed behind him and said, “But son, look how far you’ve come! You rode your bike without training wheels that far, and I’m so proud of you for having the courage to try. And I especially enjoyed just being with you today. What do you say we go get some pancakes and come back a train again tomorrow.” “OK, dad. Can I get chocolate chip pancakes?” “Absolutely!” his dad said with a big grin.
There are some of you that feel like that little boy that keeps falling off his bike when it comes to practicing these spiritual disciplines You started a Bible reading plan, and you missed a few days, so now you’re behind. You say, I can’t do it. You’ve tried to get some solitude with God, and you can’t seem to shut your mind down. You say, I can’t do it and you want to give up. Some of you tried to find an area to serve, but it didn’t work out…you’re tempted to not train again. All the while we’re thinking that God is unhappy with us because we can’t do it. God has to be unhappy with me because I’m falling off the bike every time I try.
Remember what Pastor Scott said in the first week of this series… “There is an immense difference between training to do something and trying to do something.”
So here’s the picture that I tried to paint in that story. You have to see that God, our Heavenly Father is cheering you on in your spiritual training. He’s so proud of you for having the courage to train in a new discipline. He’s looking at your heart and sees that you want to draw closer to him. So, you may have fallen off the spiritual discipline bike…that’s OK…look how far you came that time! God says, “Let’s get up tomorrow, train again and spend time together tomorrow. By the way, I just love spending the time with you!”