You would think by now I would be used to the strange ways in which God reveals Himself, but I really wasn’t expecting Him to use a self-balancing unicycle. Of course, until yesterday, I had never even heard of a self-balancing unicycle, so I guess my surprise is sort of easy to explain.
But there I was at my friend’s house, watching him demonstrate this fascinating contraption that propels itself forward without pedals. He explained it as a segway without handlebars.
Now, I should probably point out that it’s not entirely self-balancing. While it won’t tip forward or backward, sideways is an entirely different matter. The trick to riding it, Dave said, is to swivel your hips. You can probably imagine the amount of entertainment that ensued. Then it came time for me to be the entertainment.
I was off to a rough start, muttering something about the self-balancing joke, when Dave came up beside me and offered his arm for balance. And then, rather shakily, I was off—propelling forward across the yard. Dave walked alongside me, my hand clutching his arm. Then he sort of jogged alongside me and my hand was merely resting on his sleeve, just in case.
Maybe I was distracted by the fact that I was finally moving, or maybe I simply relied too heavily on Dave. Whatever the reason, it wasn’t long before the contraption wobbled and my fingers curled around Dave’s arm once more.
I felt like a child again. Learning to walk with my hands wrapped around my mother’s fingers. Learning to ride a bike with my dad holding onto the handlebars.
Then I started to think of trying to navigate life without God at my side.
I imagine it would look a lot like trying to ride that unicycle without holding onto Dave’s arm. Because despite his assurances that I was a natural, I knew he was the only thing keeping me upright most of the time. I knew I never would have gotten to the point of balancing on my own without first having his arm there to rise and fall, counterbalancing my weight and inspiring the confidence I needed to keep pressing on. I’d have been lost without his gentle reminders to shift my hips and lean forward—always lean forward. The simple truth of the matter is this:
The only reason I was able to start going at all was because I knew he was there to catch me at the first hint of trouble.
And it reminds me of all the times my life has gotten a little shaky and I find myself clinging to God’s arm, struggling to stay upright. It reminds me of all the times I’ve been distracted by the world around me, forgetting those crucial truths that have brought me this far. Just like with the self-balancing unicycle, I jolt upright and reach for anything that will keep me from falling.
That’s when I hear His voice in my ear. “It’s all right. You’ve just got to shift your hips and keep leaning forward—always lean forward.”
And I know the only reason I live so freely is because I have Him by my side. His arm is the one I cling to when the world rocks so crazily that I forget how to steer.
I take more risks than I would without Him because I know He’s there to catch me if I fall. And I feel the smile spread across my face when I’m finally moving forward, almost on my own. But I’m not ready to let go, no sir. I pray I’ll never let go.
Because I know my true security comes from the feel of His arm beneath my hand—the knowing that He will be there to catch me if ever I should fall.
And so I navigate life—a little shakily—but ever so certain of the God at my side.