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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

July 17, 2009

Training Wheels

No, that's not some metaphor for my maturation as a pastor. We literally took the training wheels off of my son's bicycle for the first time. The truth is, Will's not too thrilled about it, either. He's not yet old enough to enjoy the freedom that accompanies a feat such as learning to balance on two wheels traveling at a moderate rate of speed.

I do have a vague memory of removing my own training wheels. Off we went to my elementary school, me sailing across the playground, going just fast enough to outpace my dad. A few moments later, of course, I realized there was some value in going slow enough for Dad to keep up, as I implanted my self in the asphalt.

But once I learned, though, it was hard to keep me off my bike. This was a long time ago, of course, and in a lower-populated area, so I could ride all over town visiting friends and getting into various sorts of trouble. It saddens me just a bit to know that my son will never enjoy that sort of freedom as a boy. I'm not one to spend much time pining away for the good ol' days, but I had a lot of fun growing up. I was the consummate jock when I was growing up, and I'd find a way to play in a whiffle ball league in the morning, some tennis in the afternoon, and basketball conditioning in the evening. Good ol' days, indeed.

It didn't occur to me at the time that my calling as an athlete might have actually been a cyclist. I'd love to say I could have been like Lance Armstrong, a little before his time, but to my horror I recently discovered that we're the same age. Yet another instance where I had to look in shame at what I've accomplished with my life so far. If I were Lance, I'd be grudgingly ready to retire rather than just getting off the ground in my career.

Tomorrow, I'll be taking Will to the wide open spaces of his elementary school to conquer this balance thing. Along the way, skin will meet asphalt, although he'll wear a helmet. In due time, he'll figure it all out and what he's learned will take him to new, rewarding places. Maybe it's a metaphor after all.

Peace, Scott Schieber

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