The training wheeIs were off! The three little girls were pedaling furiously, the bikes were staying upright. What excitement!

Steering was a challenge and the bikes wiggled and looped shakily back and forth across the quiet road. Sometimes one landed in the soft grass of a neighbor’s lawn. Sometimes a push was needed to get started again.

The little girls didn’t stop because they weren’t doing it right. They didn’t complain that it was hard, for it certainly was. They didn’t think about being perfect but eagerly started again every time they stopped and the bike tipped over.

When was the last time we felt this way? When was the last time we didn’t care if we weren’t going in a straight line, but giggled as we looped unsteadily and ended upon the ground once in awhile? These girls only heard voices of encouragement. “You can do it! Try again! Wonderful! You’ve got this!”

As adults it often seems we’re more likely to hear the voices that insist, “Why do you think you can do this? You’re not coordinated. You’ll never stay upright. You’re going to be so embarrassed when you fall down.”

This may be why we don’t want to take the training wheels off our life. We want to cling to things that make us feel secure and seem to keep us steady whether they be situations, attitudes or unexamined beliefs. Yet these may be the same things that keep us from moving forward and experiencing more of life and the joy it holds. To honor every little girl so she can grow strong and confident, and to honor the little girl within each us, let’s choose carefully which voices we listen to.

Life can sometimes certainly feel shaky. Let’s ask for help when we need a push, and let’s remember, “we’ve got this!”