Do you remember the first time you hopped on a bicycle? I can’t say that I do and I figure it’s probably one I would have wanted to forget. I assume it didn’t go smoothly because of my track record of bike falls. I was more successful at falling than pedaling before I had a handle on riding a bike.
Now that I have since learned I have been living on the Autism Spectrum, I have an explanation for my awkward relationship with bicycles. A common autism trait is having a hardship for doing more than one thing at once. Bike riding requires steering and pedaling at the same time with a keen sense of observation and speed. I still have a scar on my knee from five decades ago where I might not have been keen on watching where I was going or how fast. Motor skills also come in handy when riding a bike and I wasn’t endowed with much motor.
I haven’t looked for such but I assume there are “how to ride bikes” books out there. Unlike when I was growing up, one can watch “You Tube” videos on how to ride a bike. Or spend time observing others take a spin on their bikes. Yet until one hops on a bike and puts feet to pedal, one doesn’t know what it is to ride a bike. Now I can’t imagine someone putting a lot of energy into studying about bike riding without actually riding one. It sounds rather foolish, doesn’t it?
One could say that same thing about faith. It’s one thing to know what faith is; it’s another to live it as one goes about the business of living.
Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen. Such as believing one’s prayer is going beyond the ceiling or that it isn’t luck or a coincidence that you made it through a storm, but an answered prayer. It is one thing to talk about this common word in the Bible, or to sing hymns about it, or to read and memorize the 336 verses that contain the word in the King James Version. It is well and good to pray about something on one’s plate, but it takes faith to leave it in the Lord’s hands. If one only has book-smart knowledge of faith without the practical use of it, it is like the person who is book smart on bikes but has never pedaled a day in one’s life.
I gave up bike riding a long time ago. I recall I once got back on a bike a decade or so ago when I had the rare opportunity of having access to one in a remote area. Like they say about riding a horse, it all came back to me. Although I was rusty from lack of practice, I didn’t take a fall. However, my hips paid me back BIG time after my bike reunion. I would ride a bike now but I can’t think of a place where I could ride one where there was a sure-fire guarantee that there would be absolutely NO witnesses. I’m afraid of both failing and falling in public.
I assume that even those who ride bikes well into their later years still run the risk of having a fall anytime they hop on their bikes. Not as often as most people, but they still run the possibility of flying off the handle. One can only hope they don’t break some vital bone in their body, like a neck.
Likewise, no one is perfect at riding on faith. We all fall sometimes to our fears and doubts. Just as it is with bike riders, the important thing is to get back up and try it again. Just as it is with most things, the more you practice living your faith in the Lord, the better you get at it. It’s okay to be rusty at riding a bike, but not okay to be rusty at riding one’s faith.