a Bike, a Pool and a Cross

When I was a little girl, I didn’t want anyone teaching me how to do anything new. Not because I was too independent, but because I was too shy to try in front of anyone and possibly fail. Since the most meaningful and fulfilling endeavors in life take a lot of trying, I’ve spent a lot of my lifetime in excruciating embarrassment. 

I remember two learning adventures from my childhood when the adults thought I needed to learn a new skill. The first was learning to ride a bicycle. My foster dad did all the right things. He held on tight and walked beside, letting me find my balance. He sped up to a fast trot, and I peddled my chubby little legs harder. We were zipping along now. Don’t let go! Of course, he couldn’t keep holding on. Legs can’t go as fast as wheels. All was going well for a few seconds, until I began to hear yelling. What were they yelling? Turn! Turn! I looked up and saw the tree, but couldn’t make my arms respond to the instructions. I was locked in. I didn’t turn.

Not surprisingly, that lesson ended painfully and with much embarrassment. I did eventually master bicycle riding, however. Those few seconds of feeling the wind in my face were enough to make me practice in private until I could stay up on my own. The cause was greater than the embarrassment.

The second learning adventure was much like the first. The adults thought I needed to learn how to swim. Again, my foster dad was tasked with the duty. There we were in the pool. He finally coaxed me into letting him hold me up on top of the water so that he could teach me how to float on my back. I can still remember his hands solid against my upper and lower back, the sun warming my front. I had barely started to relax when I felt his hands gently turn loose. Of course they were only an inch beneath me, but I didn’t know that. My body, which had only seconds before felt so light and unencumbered, now felt like a rock. I was sinking. There was thrashing and flailing and coughing and crying.

That lesson also ended traumatically with much embarrassment. I did, however, eventually master the art of swimming. Those few seconds of delightful buoyancy were enough to make me go to the kiddy pool by myself and practice in six inches of water until I felt myself lift up off the hard bottom. The cause was greater than the embarrassment.

Today, all grown up, I’m still that same little girl inside, extremely embarrassed to learn something new in front of anyone. Therefore, this newly launched blog ministry has been excruciating. Oh, I’ve written a lot…in private…where it was safe to fail. But I’ve taken another look at Jesus’ Cross and realized His Cause must be greater than my embarrassment.

Hopefully, some of you will come along with me as I put my face in the wind and feel the delightful buoyancy of His Spirit lifting me. I cannot guarantee that there won’t be some flailing and crying, but I’ll try to keep it to a minimum.

Perhaps you have a ministry tucked safely inside, away from public view, that God is moving on you to bring out into the light. Let’s learn together. After all, the cause is greater than our embarrassment. 

-Pat Vick

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