"Life After Training Wheels
by Peter Weeks, Assistant Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church
The stewardship campaign for this year will be Life After Training Wheels. It compares the process of learning how to use God's Time, Talent and Treasures to learning how to ride without training wheels.
It is human nature to fear the unknown and few situations in life embody this as well as a child learning how to ride without training wheels. Int he first stage, the child totters along, both wheels firmly planted on the ground where the bike is a glorified tricycle. Then as their confidence grows they go into the next stage, where the wheels are slightly off the ground and they learn they can balance but they don't lean over far at all before the wheels touch the ground. Slowly the adult raises the training wheels until they get to the third stage when the wheels are as high up as they can go. The child is essentially riding without training wheels and has most of the balance skills required but still is holding onto the comfort of knowing they are there. Eventually time comes for the final stage--the big leap of removing the training wheels entirely.
That journey is much like our own journey of using God's time, talent and treasures. The first stage is when we are going along comfortably. We may use God's time, talent and treasure a little but in such a way that it doesn't "interfere" with any other area of life. As we find out about the Spiritual gifts, or devote time to an Advent devotion or take one step toward tithing it's like going to the second state where the training wheels are just barely off the ground. This is progress and should be celebrated but soon we learn that we really can use God's time for devotions and still have time for everything else, we can use the spiritual gifts God gave us and it actually makes life more fulfilling and we can give more but still make the budget work.
We want to grow in using God's gifts because of how much He loves us. God gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. Greater love has no man than this that He lay down his life for His friends.
As God encourages us to grow, eventually we need to take that giant leap. We need to experience Life After Training Wheels. We regularly use our time to do devotions by ourselves or with our family. We regularly use our Spiritual gifts and we give a tenth of our income. This is when life really gets fun. Just like the big grin that spreads across the kids' face when they realize that they can balance their bike and it's even more fun than ever, when we experience Life After Training Wheels, we never go back. Let's follow God on this journey so we too can experience Life After Training Wheels."
I was so impressed with this article that I did not even think like an editor as I read it. I hope you are equally blessed. mla