“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord,
and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”
(The Mayor with training wheels / Julie Cook / 2021)
Do you remember when you first learned how to ride a bike?
I started my journey on wheels with a tricycle.
Eventually graduating to a small bike with training wheels—
And in due time, off went those training wheels…
and thus, for better or for worse, I was suddenly on my own.
No broken bones but a lot of skinned knees, elbows and stubbed toes.
And this was a time long before we knew helmets were important.
At my current age, I hate to admit that I don’t exactly remember a
whole lot of this particular rite of passage—
however I can remember my mom and dad, taking turns racing behind me,
holding onto the bike if I started to veer too far to one side or the other
or God forbid…started rolling way too fast for my level of
And thus today, the gauntlet has been passed…it is now the Mayor’s turn.
Of course there is a great deal of hesitancy and trepidation.
“MOM, MOM, I NEED YOU!!!!” (yes she calls me mom, her mother is mommy…
daddy is dada, my husband is da)…
And in like fashion, how many times have I cried out to God… “Father, I need you!”
“I’ve got you Boo” I reassure her as I hold onto the back of her seat as she
laboriously attempts peddling up the street…Peppa Pig rain
boots probably do not aid in one’s peddling.
I let go once she hit level ground.
“Look at you Boo—you are riding your bike!!!!”
And right then, in that moment, there comes the obvious and visible
sense of self satisfaction.
So as I stand there, looking at my granddaughter riding a bike on the very
same street where I learned to ride my own bike,
my thoughts are transported to thinking about my own learning to ride
as well as to something else…that of learning my way on the journey
as a child of God.
A juxtaposition of life’s journeys.
How many times have I set out, unsure of myself, sitting in a driving seat
position, while God had His hand on my back?
“Steady” He say’s…”Ive got you Julie”
I wobble, teetering and leaning, trying desperately to keep myself
upright. I feel His hand resting on my back so I have a sense of
Then, ever so slightly, He removes His hand…”you’ve got this”
I hear as I peddle off heading straight ahead…knowing all the while
He’s standing behind me, smiling.
And right when I get going too fast, losing control…He’s the first
one there… either to grab me by the shirt and or pick me up once I fall.
Once again He gently repeats…you’ve got this…because I’ve got you.
And whereas I won’t always be able to be with my granddaughter as she takes
off on her own life’s journeys…I have given her over to God…knowing that when
mom or da, mommy or dada can’t be with her…
Abba will always be by her side—
“How can we not ask at every turn,
‘What is going to happen? How will this turn out?’
The main thing is not to consent consciously to anxiety or a troubled mind.
The moment you realize you are worrying,
make very quickly an act of confidence:
‘No, Jesus, You are there: nothing–nothing–
happens, not a hair falls from our heads, without Your permission.
I have no right to worry.”
Perhaps He is sleeping in the boat, but He is there.
He is always there. He is all-powerful;
nothing escapes His vigilance.
He watches over each one of us ‘as over the apple of His eye.’
He is all love, all tenderness.”
Jean C.J. d’Elbée,
I Believe in Love:
A Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Therese of Lisieux