As I watched a young boy riding his bicycle with intense concentration, I found myself replaying my early learning-to-ride experiences with my father. I have no idea where my bicycle came from. I thinking about it, I realize that even though it had new paint, fresh tires, and polished chrome, I cannot remember any decals that revealed who made it. It could have been a branding of that era thing. I suspect that I had a bicycle that had been refurbished by Dad because it was all we could afford. From whatever source, I was proud of my bike and proud that I was getting a handle on how to ride it.
As I watch the images in my mind, I also see that Dad had done everything he could to help me be successful. The ground was flat – no bumps, hills, or pot holes to be seen in any direction. There were no curbs or obstacles that I could run into. It was as soft as it was going to every be, with a nice balance in how high the grass was so that I could ride without too much extra effort and yet be cushioned when I would inevitably fall. There was also nobody riding or walking in any direction. Even as he gave me a push start, I knew it did not matter what direction I decided to go in. Dad had done the planning. He had prepared the way. He opened the door for me to be in charge! My job was to ride.
Even in my best memories, my first attempts were brief wobbles followed by a quiet thud as I hit the grass. Even with another doing the heavy lifting, it takes two to make it work.
Divinity offers help. David’s notes remind me that even as he accepted help, he had work to do. “You armed me well for this fight, you smashed the upstarts.” (Psalm 18.39) We have the vehicle. We have space. In the words on a Harley Davidson poster; “Live to ride, Ride to live”.