The baby has spent the past 2 days trying to figure out how to ride her tricycle. This has been an adventure. It involves a lot of bumping into things and falling and using her sign for "help" and taking breaks for drinks of water.
She looks at me often for encouragement. Because I really want her to learn how to do new things, I've been doing everything I can think of to help her out. Holding the tricycle still for her as she practiced getting on and off over and over again. We counted the wheels about 11 times. Doing a "Ride the Bike-You Can Do This! You're a Big Girl!" dance in front of her. Scooting on the floor in front of her inch by inch as she attempted to work the trike. Shouting, "You can do it! You are woman, hear you roar!" (at which point she would say, "Rawr!" and giggle.) Reminding her to push with her feet. And then of course, in a last attempt at making the bike move, allowing her to finally take my hand, and just dragging the bike along side me as I walked, while she got a free ride. She was happy she was finally moving, but I explained her that this was not QUITE the purpose of the whole thing, although she was welcome to just hang onto my hand for awhile and let me guide her. But wouldn't it be more fun, baby, if you could just learn to ride the bike on your own and go whatever way YOU decided?
The thing is though... she was figuring it out. She really DID know how to do it-the "hold on/ push with your feet/steer" thing. She just wanted me to do it for her. Hang on a little longer.
It took quite a while for her to get the confidence in her own ability to do it on her own and finally let go of my hand... and start enjoying the freedom of riding her tricycle on her own.
I do that sometimes. Sometimes I hold onto things a little longer than I should. Even things I know I should let go of. But sometimes, things just feel so...familiar. They might not even feel all that safe anymore, but at least they are what I know. I might even see a bigger world in front of me... like the baby sees on her tricycle. There's so much more freedom for her- if she would let go of my hand, then she wouldn't have to go where I lead her, she could go wherever SHE chooses to go. But she has to choose to let go.
That's what many things boil down to, isn't it? A choice.
I think that 2010 is going to be for me. Choosing to let go of some things. Familiar, safe things, that I have held onto for a long time. But if I let go, there will be a bigger, freer world out there for me.
The good news is that I don't have to be as afraid as I think I do. Whatever happens, God is going to be right there with me, cheering me on just as I do with the baby:
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.