Originally written 5/23/2011
I was getting a sandwich and a glass of water for myself, while my husband and kids were playing outside, it was 7pm and I was going to enjoy a quiet house and some mommy-veg time. As I went to turn on the tv, I glanced out the window at my family and see my almost-8-year-old daughter zooming down the cul-de-sac on her training wheel free bike with the biggest smile stretched across her face. It was her first time riding on two wheels!
Sandwich in hand, I ran out my front door, yelling, “Go Shaylee!!! Go Shaylee!” My husband and I have been trying to teach her how to ride for the past 2 years. Shaylee would freak her self out before she would even pedal for a whole rotation and exclaim she “couldn’t do it” and would give up. But now.. She had finally learned how to ride!!! I asked Geoff, ” What did you teach her to finally make her get it?” He said, “Nothing, its like she finally decided that she wanted to do it, and she just got on it, wobbled a little and then took off!” We were so proud of her.
After Shaylee called all her grandmas to tell them her big accomplishment, and the kids were at last in bed, Geoff and I were still talking about Shaylee’s triumph. I said, “Its amazing to me, that she just decided she wanted to do it, and then did it! I get so frustrated with her sometimes, because I KNOW she could do so many things that she thinks she can’t do if she just did it. She is so more able than she knows.” The second those words came out of my mouth, I heard God whisper to my soul, ” THAT IS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL ABOUT YOU!” Wow! And surprise, surprise, He is right.
My daughter has been afraid of falling off her bike, and that fear prevented her from even trying. I never realized it, but I do the same thing in so many different ways in my own life. I get ideas of things I could do, make, or write and then I over rationalize them in my head, and always lead myself to the conclusion, that it would be a waste of time to even start or try. How frustrated God must be when He knows that He made me special, and gave me talents and gifts that I don’t use because of my own fears of failure and rejection. Just like Shaylee, I tell myself, “I can’t” before I even pedal a complete rotation. He’s frustrated not because I am failing Him, but because I am not experiencing the freedom and exhilaration of zooming down the street on two wheels that He wants me to enjoy so badly.. (the same feelings I had with my own daughter!)
I truly believe that God doesn’t give us gifts for His pleasure but for ours. When we give our own child gifts.. aren’t we giving the gift to make him or her happy? When we don’t use the gifts God gives us, we are missing out on the joy God wants for our lives. I don’t know about you, but I certainly want to tap into all the joy God has to give me. I don’t want my fears and over rationalizations to hold me back anymore. I am ready to start taking off my training wheels, are you?