Outgrowing the old

My youngest daughter Macy just started riding her bike with no training wheels.

Great, right? Well…hold that thought.

I’ve been telling her for probably well over a year that she’d have so much more fun riding her bike without the training wheels. But, she’d faithfully protest and insist on riding with the training wheels. Okay, whatever. As a parent, its important to pick your battles. Fine kid, ride to high school with training wheels. See if I care.

But a few days ago, after seeing all the neighborhood kids riding their bikes up and down the street, Macy had an epiphany: “Maybe I should try riding without my training wheels, because that looks like a lot more fun!”

Really? You think so? Wow, I had never thought of that.

So, with no recollection whatsoever that the idea of riding without training wheels had been MY idea for more than a year, she came to me asking, “Daddy, will you take my training wheels off?”
So, off they came, and on she climbed, did a few trips down the gentle grassy slope in our front yard in order to learn balance (something that can’t be taught but must be learned), and she was pretty much good to go.

I came home 2 days ago to see her riding her bike with the other kids up and down the street in front of our house in her new found freedom. The new problem? She had waited so long to rid herself of the training wheels that she has entirely outgrown her bike. She looked like one of those circus performers riding one of those ridiculously small bicycles.

But having just stepped into a world without training wheels, where anything is possible, she was not about to wait for a larger bike. She was absolutley insistent on riding her bike–the one too small for her new life; the life as a 2-wheeler.

And ride she did. For hours on end, up and down the street, wind in her hair, smile on her face. Well, except for the split second, which occurred every half-second when her knees would hit the handlebars. And so she rode: wee! ow. wee! ow. wee! ow. wee! ow. wee! ow.

When she came in that night, she complained that her knees were hurting her. I’m not sure the picture I snapped this morning does it justice, but notice especially the inner half of her knees. The flash kind of washed them out, but there are dark purple bruises as a result of her insisting on riding a bike too small for her.

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.” Mark 2:22

In this passage, Jesus was speaking about the new life we have in Him. When we truly encounter Jesus in a genuine transaction of our past for His presence in our lives, we can’t pour old ways, old lies, old habits, old anything into the newness of life that Jesus offers. If we try and live “old” while Jesus wants us to live “new”, we’re doomed to burst.

So, is there any part of my life that’s “old” that I’m trying make fit into the new wineskins of a life with Christ? We’re told that when we receive Jesus, “behold, the old has gone and the new has come.” And if new has indeed come, I’ve got no business putting it into the old. Now, I’m an old-school NAS guy, but I really like how the New Living Translation (shown above) puts it: “New wine calls for new wineskins.” It’s as if the newness that Christ brings cries out for a new attitude from us, a new openness to new things, and a putting off of all that old stuff.

So, we went out last night and got Macy a “new wineskin”, in the form of an 18″ bike. Oh, it came with training wheels. But check the trashcan next to my house for those.

Just for fun, here are the 2 bikes (old and new) next to each other.

I’m not kidding.

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