Up in the Air

There’s a distinctive rattle that belongs to a bike with training wheels. But hearing that sound from where I sit still surprises me. It causes me to look. There she goes, bobbed black hair and pink dress trailing in her wake. She cruises by without a care in the world. Sometimes she stops to quietly peer through our window. She’s an impassive little soul with a round face and large dark eyes. Unlike her bothers at that age, she is quiet and slow to smile. They were always roaring past the window pushing … or chasing one another on the scooter they shared. They would stop also and examine me with cupped hands to the window. I was the slower part of their entertainment.

I have worked for the past six years on the same street where their parents own a restaurant. The little path outside my window is their playground. I have watched them grow. It seems like only yesterday when the bothers were trying to contain their toddling baby sister. Now she’s out on her own doing laps with her training wheels. The story sounds quite mundane … except that it happens every day, thirty feet in the air!

The children I’ve just described have learned to walk and scooter and bike three stories up. Their parent’s restaurant is in the food court just down from Coronado Bible Church. It used to worry me seeing the children playing between our windows and the wrought iron railing. The bike is a relatively new addition and when I think of the context, it still strikes me as absurd; training wheels thirty feet in the air.

Thirty feet up is not the normal environment for children to try their training wheels … but it is normal for one little girl. A cement walkway bordered by windows and iron railings doesn’t sound too bad, but it is not without risks. There are steep stairwells along the path; real peril around the little girl on her bike. Still, I doubt she ever thinks about the height or the consequences of falling.

I haven’t worked out all the parallels, but I want something of that abandon in my walk with my Savior. In obedience to Christ’s commands, I want to go places and do things that others might not dare to do. I want to walk in faith and not fear. There are real risks in being a disciple of Jesus Christ, but there is no real danger. Your path is secure, your glad destination fixed … even if it leads through death. My confidence is not in the path, but in the One who has promised to walk it with me.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4