When the daffodils bloomed, she blew out five candles and set ladybugs free into the garden. She said it was time for her to grow up some more, time for her to take off the training wheels.
So we did. I pulled out the wrench and tried my best to loosen those bolts and set her free to grow and go as she dreamed.
But once she climbed up on that seat and felt the bike lean this way and that, she soon decided the idea was a bit over the top.
I kept watching and biting my lip and leaning this way and that too, wondering how to help.
She kept sitting there fidgeting, trying to put her feet up and get started and then leaning too far and catching herself just in time.
And then she just got off and said it, ‘I can’t do it.’
I didn’t know what to say, but I knew I wasn’t bending low and tightening those extra wheels again.
‘Just go for it, girl. I know you can do it.’
And she fought me and there were tears shed and I’d be lying if I didn’t say we quit that day.
But the next morning, when the dew was still on the grass, she climbed up and tried it again.
Finally, I knew what to say, ‘Just get moving, get the wheels turning. You’ll never get balanced if you’re just sitting there. It’ll feel scary for a second or two, but you’ll learn to balance it as you go forward.’
It took a day or two of pushing off and pedaling a bit, but the next day at the park, she called out, ‘Mommy look!’ and I looked up and there she was-perfectly balanced on just two wheels.
I’ve got a few more than five candles in my cake, and I know it’s time for me to be growing up and going out. But sometimes the daring challenge of life’s balance is just too much.
I should be kind and yet truthful.
I should be bold and yet gentle.
I should be just and yet patient.
I should be sober and yet lighthearted.
I should be diligent and yet restful.
I walk through the days and feel myself leaning this way and that. I can tell I’m about to sprawl all over the concrete. I fall off in the direction of diligence and then end up leaning too far toward laziness. I am brave and yet go too far and then I’m quiet and say too little.
I think I just need to stop this thing from moving and find some balance.
But I watched my girl with legs that had grown five years strong push those pedals around and around and thought I heard Him whisper it.
“Balance is found in moving forward. Keep moving, move down toward me, move out toward others and I will help you balance.”
So, I do. I keep moving. And I make a fool of myself some times, well most times-going too fast, falling into this and scraping my knees on that. But ever so slowly, the balance comes as I work out this salvation that He’s worked in me.
I keep moving because He is moving.
‘My Father is always at work to this very day, and I too am working.’ John 5:17
And when I move toward Him, He moves in me, and every now and then, I feel it-the perfect balance of His person.
This is the way to find balance-forget Yoga and deep breathing and calming tea and a warm bath.
Balance is nothing more than becoming. We get down and pray for help. We get up and get going. And we let Him show us our leanings: not enough boldness, too much justice, more diligence please.
But don’t stop. Whatever you do, don’t stop. Keep going, pushing forward and let Him right your way, let Him pull you to the other side a bit, let Him give you His balance.
She tells the class today that her favorite part about being five is balancing on two wheels and I pray for grace to keep moving toward Him and letting Him balance me.
“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” Exodus 34:6-7