I learnt how to ride the bicycle as an adult. To be precise, I learnt how to ride the bike eight months ago. I was so blessed to have my good friends, Christine and Chew Yen, by my side to cheer me on. Chew Yen taught me how to ride the bike. She would push me from behind and asked me to keep peddling. She would let go once I could balance myself. And Christine was my cheerleader.
From learning to ride the bike as an adult, I think I can use this quote life is like riding a bicycle.
Once I got on my bike, Chew Yen told me to look straight ahead and start peddling. I had to keep peddling so that I will not fall. Once I stopped peddling, I would lose my balance.
Interesting enough, I came across a quote by Albert Einstein. He wrote, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
We may face obstacles and challenges in life. They may come one after another. But, we have to keep going. Don’t give up on ourselves. We may be scared and fearful but, keep going. I like this quote by Mark Twain, a well-known American writer, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear”. So, keep going.
Look Straight Ahead
I had to look straight ahead when I am peddling. Initially I was nervous and so I kept looking at my front wheel, but that was not the wise thing to do. I needed to see where I was going.
In life, we need to keep track on where we are heading for. We should have a vision in life so that we will not waste our time away. Hour turns into days, days turn into months, months turn into years. Time slips by very quickly. Our vision will help us use our gifts and time wisely.
Almost every year, I would be given the opportunity to teach secondary school students about the importance of vision casting. We would do an exercise on setting specific goals for the coming year, the next 5 years and the next 10 years so that we achieve our targeted dreams.
One of my favourite verses from the Bible is this: “where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18, KJB). We need to have a vision and know what we want to do with our lives.
While cycling, I don’t turn my head and look to the back. I have to keep my eyes to the front. We can’t dwell in the past either. The past gave us rich lessons which would make us into better people. The past does not have to define who we are in the present. Let us not let our past entangle us from doing what God is calling us to do.
After mastering cycling in a straight line, the next thing I learned was to turn. And turning was hard to do! It will be impossible to keep riding in straight lines; there will be corners, turnings and curves on any roads. Eight months ago, I fell when I was moving too near to a pole. I injured my left knee and it took eight months to heal! I could not bend my knee for several weeks (I could not kneel to pray for eight months). It was difficult to climb up and down the stairs or getting in and out of cars!
Life is seldom as straight forward as we hoped. There are different seasons in our lives. God leads us through the different chapters and seasons in life. There will be times when God asks us to do something which we had never imagined. It will be like taking a turn in our life. He nudges us out of the comfort zone in His great plans for us. We need to obey, step out and readjust to His plan for us. It is often such a blessing if we obey Him.
The last step was to brake safely. If we do not put the bike to a stop in the right way, we may fall (yes, if you want to learn how to ride a bicycle, you have to expect a certain degree of falling off the bike).
In life, we need to take rest seriously and systematically so that we will not get burnt-out. Taking breaks to rejuvenate are important so that we can keep going. Taking a restful sleep at night, have mini breaks throughout the day, and take our annual leave from work so that our mind, soul and body will thrive.
From time to time, Chew Yen would watch me cycle and give me feedbacks so that I can improve and will not fall. Christine would encourage me.
We don’t live alone. Human beings are social beings by nature (although some may prefer to be alone). Friends enrich our lives. They give us wise advice so that we will stay on the right track. With their encouragement and support, we can continue to improve to be better people and live lives that are pleasing to God.
Is life like riding a bicycle? I think so. Remember: keep going even when it is tough, keep our eyes on our goal, be willing to readjust when God is leading you to a different assignment and take breaks regularly. Life is enjoyable, just like riding on the bicycle.