Saturday, June 28, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

So, I turn 30 tomorrow, just days after watching my youngest daughter learn to ride a bicycle. And I've been thinking about how life is kind of like that - like learning to ride a bike. Pedal, pedal, steer, balance, steer, balance, pedal. It's doing all of those things at the same time that's tough...not to mention keeping your head up so you can see where you're going and watching for on-coming traffic.

I feel like I'm getting kind of good at it, though - at riding the bike of life. I'm not upset about turning 30. I think I learned something in the last few years about being a "grown-up" in some very important ways while still being adventurous, vibrant, and full of life. I think I'm finally getting the "balance" part down after years of pedaling and steering. I've worked and worked and worked, pedaled and pedaled and pedaled to get here, often tipping too far to the right or left. I feel more balanced now, and maybe I can slow up on the pedaling a little and enjoy the scenery. Maybe I'll learn to do some tricks. Or maybe I'm headed for some more rugged terrain, and I'll take up mountain biking. But, hey, at least I know how to ride the bike now!

Maybe now it's less about learning how and more about learning endurance, perseverance, even how to trust and relax...loosen my grip on those handlebars, huh? Maybe even learn to ride with no hands while the Unseen Hand steers the bike for a while? This is what's hard. Keep going, endure, but also trust, relax, loosen up, let go, break free.

I'm looking forward to this chapter, this journey, this part of the trail. I *know* Gad hasn't brought me this far to watch me crash now...which isn't to say that I don't expect any suffering in the future, but just that I expect something beautiful to come of it because God is my God and God is love. God's love means I can trust something beautiful to come even from suffering, and not that God plans or creates suffering, but that the suffering that happens as the result of the free will of God's created people can be turned into good in my life because I love God and God loves me. That's the promise God gives, and I choose, today, to believe it.

Now, if only I can ride forward, with my head up and a loose, yet determined, grip. That would be the best birthday present to myself.

Happy Birthday to me.


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