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Look Dad, No Hands!

November 6, 2007

bike.jpgMost of you know I’m not one to write overly long posts. So beings I have only done this one other time…please bear with me… 😀 she says twirling her hair and batting her eyes 😉 Deb & Love, I had to add that!

Do you remember the first time you rode a two wheel bike? The day when training wheels became a thing of the past? Those things only babies used? I can recall my big girl bike day very well! My training wheels had been removed just days before and I was riding my bike with the assistance of anyone I could bribe into jogging beside me. I guess you can say now I had human training wheels. I still couldn’t ride a bike without someone running alongside, hands gripped to my banana seat, as I’d wobble en route for the nearest parked car. Nonetheless, those plastic, crooked rusty old wheels were off and I was ready for the next step…or so I thought!

It started out a scrape and scab free morning. All I wanted was to jump on my bike, hoping this would be the day I would ride all on my own. After several not so subtle manipulating hints I finally convinced a family friend it was time for my lesson and so we headed out for the drama.

Off we were back and forth on a little dirt road. Even with him holding on, as I peddled my little heart out, I found it difficult to stay balanced. But just knowing he was there provided all the confidence I needed. So off I would go and he would shout out, “Good job Tam!” and I’d peddle even faster and my smile would get wider. In no time at all I felt comfortable enough to start talking to my human set of training wheels as I rode…all at the same time…thinking to myself, “I don’t know what all the fuss is about – this is so easy!” My confidence was building as I became certain of myself and my riding abilities.

Then suddenly in the middle of my spastic chatter he failed to answer one of my questions. So I asked him again and once more, no response. So, yes I did, I turned my head around to ask him one more time and he was gone! He was standing at least 100 feet behind with a big smile on his face yelling, “You’re doing it Tam, You’re doing it!” I’m doing it? I’m doing what? Wait, you’re back there and I’m…OH MY GOSH I’M DOING IT!!! The coolness and assurance I had felt just seconds earlier quickly turned into colossal fear! Then the predictable happened. As I turned back around to see just where I was headed I found myself heading directly south right onto the gravel road! It was the longest fall of my life and I fought all the way down until I was weaved in and out like a pretzel in my bike frame. I was scraped from head to toe, well as much scraping as a 3 mph fall can get you…either way it hurt! My deserter came running as I screamed at him, “Why did you let go?!!” He asked in return, “Why did you look back?

Well here I am 30 years later and not much has changed. Yes, the parallels are jumping off the page! My friend wasn’t at fault for letting go of my bike, he knew I was ready. I fell because I took my eyes off the goal and became “ascared”. I can’t even begin counting the times I have looked back and taken my focus off what lies ahead. In many ways I am still that little girl on a bike. Sometimes I find myself looking behind when I’m in doubt hoping to find something familiar and common because I’m too afraid of the unknown. And many times, I fall flat on my face.

Lately I’ve been meditating on God’s Omnipresence. The reality of Him existing everywhere at the same time is a lot to grasp. But because I am a believer in His word I believe everything about Him as well. There are times still when it seems He has stepped out of the room and I’m left on my own. But it only feels that way. Certainly He can’t be away from me or out of my presence being omnipresent and all.

So what is it that causes me to feel such a gap or absence? For my self it is almost always a faith issue. What might begin as a strong “bring it on world” expedition can quickly become a personal setback at the first glimpse of disorder. And no feeling at that point seems to be excused from how I might respond to the hurdles. That’s where my struggle begins. I allow my feelings to dictate my response to adversity. When instead I should be leaning on God’s word, His truths and the knowledge He has put in my heart and mind to guide me; not the sting of fear in that moment.

When my friend let go of my bike he knew I could ride on my own. Before that second he’d held on very tight and picked me up each time I became one with the ground. He knew precisely when I was ready to ride off by myself. Even though he let go – he was also still there. He wasn’t physically attached to my banana seat any longer but when I turned around I still saw him – I wasn’t out of his sight. He stood back and watched me graduate to the next stage. Of course when it all came crashing down he was there on the spot tending to my self inflicted wounds and helping to get me back on that bike.

I don’t know about you but I still have yet to master balancing life on or off a bike. But the Master who holds everything in balance, including me, knows exactly what He’s doing! I must trust that when He let’s go it’s because He knows I’m ready. I must also believe that just because He let’s go does not mean He has left me alone, even if it feels that way. Fear and little faith can play vicious mind games. But they can never change the living God.

I think of Peter when he walked on the water toward Jesus. The second he saw the waves and felt the strong winds he became terrified and began to sink. He shouted, Save me, Lord!” Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him and then said to Peter, “You have so little faith. Why did you doubt me?” Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and began focusing on the storm raging around him and down he went. Just like my solo bike ride…I took my eyes off the goal when I feared my surroundings had changed and down I went also!

Today it is essential that I believe my Lord is always – in His Omnipresence – right here, right now. When confronting doubting Thomas – Jesus said, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” Whether I see Him with my eyes or not does not change the fact that He is who He says He is! He is an all knowing, ever present, loving God who knows precisely what He’s doing…Jeremiah 29-11-14a, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. That is a promise worth believing in!

Are you still looking back?

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. Heather B permalink
    November 6, 2007 7:54 pm

    This is an amazing post. As a recovering control freak, I will say that my tendency is to look back. It is a daily decision for me to keep my eyes on Him, the author and finisher of my faith. Good post!!

  2. November 6, 2007 8:57 pm

    That BETTER be in your book… or i will be asking for my money back!! 🙂

    I have said it before and i will say it again Loud and Proud (and if i have not said it before then i do now…)

    Tam – You are even more Beautiful and the Inside than you are on the Outside – and in my humble opinion that takes Some doing! :-0

    You GO Girl! 🙂

  3. Jason permalink
    November 6, 2007 9:12 pm

    Nice. So nice. And great illustations.

    I feel that crreeping sensation of “what am I doing” rolling over me. I recall that things once seemed easier. I begin to assess what I can do to aleviate the experience. I try to recall the promises of God, and it is just a lot of screaming noise in my head. and with my hands still on the plow I just take a little peek behind me.

    And I realize I am the Israelites in Numbers. I am Elijah in the cave, without any of the super-duper Elijah stuff at all. Just an ungrateful, unfaithful simp, sitting in a cave of my darkness, covering my own backside at all costs.

    It is an amazing thing that the beautiful Spirit does keeping us looking forward, pulling, pushing. I am declared clean, and yet, in my most sanctified moments, I feel anything but (clean or sactified).

    Jesus is so glorified in our dependence.

  4. November 7, 2007 4:38 am

    I am looking up. For answers. daily. I trust that he craddles and holds up in the midst of the crazyness of our days. A good friend of mine said to me “just imagine him, with HIS arms wrapped around you when you are down.” I don’t FEEL HIM there with me at all times, but is me, not HIM, walking away.

    And this, IS my struglle.

    Great Post Tammy.

  5. November 7, 2007 7:18 am

    Wonderful post….I love when the Lord takes over those fingers of yours and speaks so clearly! I’ve said before that the only time the Lord wants me to look back anymore is to remember what He did on that cross and see my past in it’s redeemed state. That way instead of looking at my faults, I’m looking at my ministry and it becomes something of great importance instead of a futile loss of time. God has big things for you Tam, I’m honored that I get to be close and watch. Oh, and feel free to twirl and and bat those eyes anytime…Love ya!

  6. gavcait permalink
    November 7, 2007 7:33 am

    Wow, that is an awe-inspiring post. I think I do more than just look back. Sometimes I feel like I am still holding on afraid to let go.

    Funny story, when I was about 10 I was riding a small 3-wheeler. I did the same thing. Turned around to see if my Dad was watching me. BOOM ran straight into a brick wall. Minor scrapes and scratches but a lesson learned.

  7. November 7, 2007 10:33 am

    Very thought provoking question – Why do we look back?

    I think “looking back” is an instinctive reflects. It takes a lot of trust, and confidence, not to look back.

    I am not sure how much trust a child is born with. My guess is that a child must learn to trust the world outside and this starts with their parents.
    My guess is that how supportive parents are preconditions a child to have a more, or less, trusting nature. If a child learns it can’t trust it’s parents it must be very difficult to learn to trust anyone else.

    I think we all search for someone, something, we can put are trust in. How much we are trust we learn from by our parents determines how hard, or how easy the search will be.

    Tam, having found someone you can place completely, unquestioning faith in, must be very comforting.

    Developing that complete, unquestioning faith, must also be a very difficult task if trusting is not something your family life precondition you for.

    My guess is it can be a life long journey. Didn’t even saints looked back sometimes?

  8. November 7, 2007 5:02 pm

    Great post!
    Blessings,
    Angela

  9. November 7, 2007 5:08 pm

    Ed,
    “I think “looking back” is an instinctive reflects. It takes a lot of trust, and confidence, not to look back. ”

    Prior to reading your words i had Never realised the connection between my ‘reflexes’ and reflecting the outside world (looking back/out/behind )- Thank You Wise Sir!

    I have been still futher enlightened by the inter-connections of ‘instinct’ and IN-Tuition as your words showed me in a new Light.

    Whether intentionally or not, my wise friend, you allow me to see things my own ‘past’ was not allowing me to See – and i thank You for that 🙂

    I feel a post about mirrors looking back at you coming on in the forSEEable future (not looking back or looking forward – looking within – as opposed to looking all about ‘without’…)

    Oh Yeah… I Love it when words get DEEP into Ya!

    Thanks Again Ed – love your work! 🙂

    love

  10. November 7, 2007 11:04 pm

    love, thank you for the kind words. I have found your post very enlightening.

    I did not think of blogs as work until I tried to keep up with the discussions going on at Jason’s and Gods Gal’s blogs today.

    Oops. It is now 1:00 am here so I should have said yesterday. 🙂

  11. November 7, 2007 11:13 pm

    Oh my word Ed! Sometimes, ok…most the time, my brain can’t keep up with my friends thoughts on their blogs.

    Ed, I wish you had a blog! How come you don’t friend? You have so many great stories and an incredible amount of wisdom, experience and knowledge…

  12. November 7, 2007 11:32 pm

    Tam, I am having a hard enough time trying to keep up with all the blogs I read.

    I don’t know how you guys do both.

  13. November 8, 2007 4:29 am

    Thank you. You’ve a gift – thanks for sharing it with me.

  14. November 8, 2007 7:43 am

    Thank you for sharing your heart. This post was perfect for me today! Thanks!

  15. November 8, 2007 8:49 pm

    Ed, your more than welcome and thank you for ‘getting something’ (i sincerely hope it is of use to your understandings) from my words.

    “I don’t know how you guys do both”

    No-one said it was ever going to be ‘easy’ lol 🙂

    it’s not for everyone perhaps, but we all have something (or someOne) we want to put ‘out there’ don’t we?

    Well i know I sure do hence the blog name!

    love

  16. garmentofpraise permalink
    November 9, 2007 7:35 pm

    Amazing….absolutly amazing. I still have a scar on my knee from riding my bike. When I turned around and realized my Dad wasn’t beside me, I freaked out and fell off. I skidded in the gravel. Still have it what, 13 years later? Something my youth pastor always used to say is “How can you go places when you look back? You’re just going to trip over all the roadblocks, and fall off a cliff.” As funny as it sounds…it’s so true. Thanks, friend, for reminding me of this. Your post was simply amazing

  17. November 9, 2007 8:25 pm

    Such a great post Tam! I felt like I could be reading my life story. Trust. Now there’s a word I struggle w/ everyday. I feel like many days I should just change my name to Thomas (I’ not sure my husband would like that – but you get the picture). 🙂
    Thank you for the inspiring & encouraging words.
    You are a blessing!

  18. November 11, 2007 7:32 pm

    What a solid, thought-provoking post! And I agree, it had better be in your book! 😉 Love ya, Tam. Thanks for making your blog always rewarding to stop by. 🙂

  19. November 13, 2007 9:06 pm

    Wow what an awesome post. You know what struck me when you mentioned Peter? That even though Peter took His eyes off of Jesus, Jesus STILL reached out to save Peter. Even when Thomas doubted, Jesus STILL gave him assurance. God is so merciful.

  20. November 13, 2007 9:21 pm

    Hmmm – that is great insight Joni…you’re right! Again, another testament to how faithful and loving our God truly is…

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