When I got a bike as an adult I didn’t know how to use the brakes. The real problem was that I didn’t even know that I didn’t know. Within three minutes after getting on the bike I was in trouble. I was headed down a hill in my neighborhood and I suddenly realized things were not going well. I was going way too fast and the backpedaling-as-a-brake trick that I had learned when I was a child didn’t work on this bike.
This bike had handbrakes instead, and my husband, the avid bicyclist, had not taught me about them. Suddenly I realized I couldn’t ask for help because he was too far away. Suddenly I realized I had to figure it out on my own right there, right then. Thankfully I did, otherwise I would’ve ended up in a neighbor’s front yard, and possibly after that in the hospital. I would have come to a stop by smashing into their house.
Isn’t this a lot like life? All the time people don’t tell us what is going on and how to get out of trouble. They expect that we should know already. We’re in the middle of the problem and suddenly we have to figure it out.
I’ll never forget that terror, that sudden realization that I was in a whole lot of trouble really fast, and I had nobody to help me but myself. But I’ll also never forget the calm that came over me along with the terror. I figured it out. I didn’t get hurt. I was fine. And I remembered that I have within me a God-given ability to take care of myself.