I love riding bikes. This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to take my son Jude (7) on a bikeride. It was a great daddy/son time. We rode about a mile from our house down to a little dirt hill along the side of the bikepath. The kids call it "the hump," and we've been to it a few times. It's a 4-5 foot tall dirt pile, but has a narrow pass through it created by people riding their bikes over it. The pass is probably 2 foot tall and not very steep. It's fun to ride over, and a neat challenge for little Judester.
He got a good run at it and made it over and back on his first run. He was pumped. He made it over the second time, and was so excited to try it that he turned his front handlebar too quickly in order to turn around...causing him to launch over the handlebars. ENDO time! Well, little Judester caught himself with his right forearm and left knee, causing a nice scrape on his arm and a decent roadrash/cut on his left knee.
The crash was followed with a quick yell and immediate crying. As I got to Jude he was sitting holding on to his leg crying. He deserved to cry...it was a great crash. He settled down after a bit, picked up his bike, and just stood next to it...still crying softly. We both stood there for a bit. I could tell he was weighing his options...shifting his gaze between myself and the bike.
"Should I get back on the bike or not? "
It was one of those foundational...defining Daddy/Son moments. I knelt down beside him and started to talk to him about the two options. We made sure all his bones were all right and that the only injuries were the scrapes and cuts. He tested his leg and arm and said he was good to go as he wiped the tears from his face, but he still didn't want to get back on the bike. I asked him why, and he said that he was scared he might wipe out again. We chatted about that for a bit, and he eventually decided that he wasn't going to let a wipeout rob him of the joy and happiness he had experienced in riding his bike.
So, he checked his arm and knee one more time, slowly slid into the saddle, and not only pushed off, but aimed his bike at the hump! He quickly gained momentum and zipped right through...stopping on the other side to look back and smile at me.
Wow...I was so proud he didn't stay down. He got back up! He got on his bike! He tried again...and this time he succeeded. What a tough little dude.
So, I put my feet in my pedals and started slowly over the hump to meet my son. I misjudged the amount of speed I would need and came to rest near the top of the hill and slowly started to lean to the right. I went to put my right foot down, and it caught in my pedal, leaving me falling in slow motion to the right with no way to catch myself. Yup...I wiped out going less than 1mph! Awesome. I tumbled down the hill with my bike rolling over the top of me.
Jude ran over and asked if I was ok. He helped check me out, made sure my arms and legs worked and helped brush off all the grass and dirt. He smiled at me, and then, as I picked up my bike, he looked me in my eyes and said, "Don't worry dad...you don't have to be afraid...go ahead and get back on your bike!"
How about that?! Not only did Jude experience and grow through an important life lesson, he taught it back to me. I thanked him as we exchanged smiles. We hugged, hopped on our bikes, and had a fun trip back home.
Jesus often warned about how tough life would be...especially if we choose to follow Him. Everyone gets knocked down. The question is, will we continue to pursue Him? Will we love and trust that God is in charge or let fear keep us from pursuing God's will and opportunities. Don't stay down. Go ahead and get back on your bike! Get up!