Life Without Training Wheels, A Modern-Day Parable

One day a father went out to play with his son in the driveway as he was trying to teach his son how to ride his bike without training wheels. The son was scared to take the chance—not knowing what it would be like without the comforts of the training wheels. He was preoccupied with the fear of falling and what would happen if he fell. He could envision loosing control, skinning his knee or worse yet breaking a bone.

Now the father knew that with his guiding hand and encouraging words, the son would eventually learn to trust him and learn to ride the bike on his own. But he understood the fear and so he was patient with his son—being careful to give him every reason to trust him.

Eventually the child warmed up to the idea of riding without the training wheels, and so together they went to work, taking the wheels off the bike. But as the father was taking the screw out of the last wheel, the child’s fear only grew with more intensity. “What’s wrong?” said the father to his son. “Daddy, I’m afraid I will fall.” The father looked at him and said, “Don’t worry about falling son. I will carefully guide you until you learn to ride on your own. And if you fall, I will be there to catch you. We’ll just get right back up and keep on trying.” The child’s confidence seemed to grow. “You’ll get there. I promise,” the dad said as he gave his son a wink. So with trust in his heart, the little boy began to ride. The father walked briskly behind his son with his hand firmly placed on the seat, as his son launched off into the unknown. As he started he wobbled back and forth a bit, but was soon able to carefully balance the bike and start to peddle.

Eventually the child began to build confidence as he saw that he was able to do it without the aid and comfort of the training wheels. As time went on and as he practiced more, and as he listened to the words of his father as he guided him from behind, he was able to get better and better at peddling and balancing.

Finally one day, when the child had gained the confidence that he could actually ride his bike without training wheels, after he had come to believe and trust the words that his father spoke to him, he decided to turn around and ask his father to let him go.

“Look daddy, I am doing it, I am doing it! You can let go now daddy. I think I can ride without you holding me now!”

As the child looked back to see his father, he noticed that he was not holding the bike anymore. His father had let go a long time ago. He was now running behind his son, as the boy peddled in unrestrained joy. “You already are son, you already are.”

Let he who has an ear, hear…

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