Living Loved & Riding Bikes

Letters from podcast listeners lead Brad and Wayne to a discussion about the process of learning to live loved, comparing it to learning to ride a bicycle. Unless we’re willing to risk the uncomfortable moments of feeling out of control, we won’t find the depth of the life God wants to show us. Living loved begins when the Father begins to convince us that even with all he knows about us, this Father is deeply endeared to us and invites us on a journey of growing in that awareness. This also leads to a conversation about how to walk alongside others as God is drawing them into living loved as well.

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7 Responses to “Living Loved & Riding Bikes”

  1. Cameron Denny says:

    Brad and Wayne,

    I just finished listening to the bicycle podcast. My heart feels fifty pounds lighter. It seems like sometimes I forget that I have access to a bike at all, and I start huffing and puffing, running my hardest, and getting exhausted. My heart retreats until a shell, and my relationship with Him gets hard. But a bike is so much easier than running. When I come back to His love for me, and I smile up into His face again, then life doesn’t seem so tedious and stressful anymore. Thanks for reminding me that fellowship with Him is not hard, and that it is fun…

    Cameron Denny
    Burlington, NC
    23 yrs. old

  2. joni menard says:

    This was another great conversation. Reminded me of this Eugene Petersen quote: “The assumption of spirituality is that ALWAYS God is doing something before I know it. So the task is not to get God to do something I think needs to be done, but to become aware of what God is doing so that I can respond to it and participate and take delight in it.”

  3. Dominic says:

    I listened to this podcast today (twice, while mowing the grass…..my grass is two podcasts big – fancy that!). It made me think of something I saw at a local village gala I was at yesterday: among the usual amusements & rides etc, there was a man with a bicycle, and a sign challenging anyone to ride this bike successfully for a marked out course, about ten yards long, for a prize of £10. Innocuous enough, it would seem, particularly when you could see the owner riding it around in full view, quite successfully. There was, however, a catch, of course. The handlebars were rigged in such a way as to make the front wheel turn in the opposite direction to the way the rider was turning them. Turn the handlebars left, and the bike goes right, and vice versa. I watched a couple of people try it, and it was quite clear this was a practically impossible task; the riders reflexes are so wired to react in a certain way that, as soon as they have started to ride, and experienced their first mini-wobble, the reflexes kick in, turn the bike what they think is the correct direction to counter the wobble, the front wheel turns in the opposite direction, and and over they go…..splat, on the deck! Now, I can imagine there would be several good applications of this to the Christian life, but the one that occurs to me is that it’s a picture of the Christian’s relationship to the law, and self-effort in order to please God. The owner is riding around showing how easy it is (is that the devil? Is that a well-meaning church leader?) and it’s up to the unsuspecting believer to try to copy him, with disastrous results i.e. the more I try and keep the law, the more I am prone to failure. And the interesting thing is watching people get up and have another go, with an equally high failure rate the second or third attempt. Then they give up, of course! Maybe then it’s time to try the bike of living in God’s unconditional acceptance. Although it may be hard to learn to ride (but rewarding when we “get it”), but at least it’s not rigged against us.

  4. George Dunn says:

    I really get burdened with so many people being taught that the “will (purpose)” is to do this or that…as though we are to be in a certain place at a certain time doing a certain thing “for Him:’ God’s ultimate purpose IS Christ jesus living His life in and through me. I spent years trying to determine “God;s will for my life”..what I was supposed to “do” FOR Him…what job He had created me for. Finally I discovered that God’s purpose concerned His coinforming me to His image. I’m relaxing, finally, and as he cnforms my life to His I begin to react to life out of a new heart, a new character. Living “reactionary” for me is such a blessing. I no longer have to figure it out!

    No more riding my bike and getting so tired out. I’m too old for all the effort. So god has given me a motorcycle. I just get on and ride, effortlessly!

    I enjoyed the podcast.

  5. Kimball Kinnersley says:

    Brad and Wayne:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the podcast! When you discussed running along side your children’s bicycles to teach them, it made me think of something.

    I have four daughters, and with the first three, I did the “run along side thing”. Exhausting, and it seemed like it took forever for them to trust their own riding ability. Sort of like someone still in the institution waiting for someone to catch them and not truly putting their trust in themselves, or God. Also, waiting for more and more and more instruction on why they keep falling down and how to prevent it.

    With my fourth daughter, I tried something different. Our driveway in front of our house has a little bit of a down grade. I put her on a small bike with the seat down low where she was comfortable with putting her feet down to stop quickly. I told her, “Honey, just pick your feet up and if you feel like you’re starting to go too fast, put your feet down and stop.” So she practiced this over and over and before long she was balancing the bike all the way down the driveway and then stopping at the end by putting her feet down.

    The next step was to have her keep doing the same thing, but to put her feet up on the pedals, but when she wanted to stop, turn the crank/pedals backwards. Now she was getting used to braking and stopping.

    Once she had this done, then I put her on the flat sidewalk, and I taught her how to put her foot on one pedal, and begin pushing to get momentum instead of relying on the hill to make her go. Once she caught on to this, she was on her way. She still had to learn the skill of turning, but now that she could ride, brake, and stop (putting her feet down when she stopped), turning took no time to learn and was less dangerous.

    Her birthday is in December. She was riding a bicycle up and down the street the summer before her birthday, and she was only 4 years old! She was riding before she was 5! Of my 4 daughters, she spent less time learning, and was the youngest to ride a bicycle. No one needed to catch her (pastors, church, etc), she had it on her own!

    I guess what I took away from your podcast and it’s parellel to the story of my daughter is that all I did was guide her in a direction, coaching her. Each time down the driveway her “trust” increased on what I was telling her, and in her own abilities, building her confidence on every run down the driveway. Eventually, and within days, she was on her way.

    Isn’t that true about our relationship with God? Build trust little by little, and eventually you’re riding up and down the block with Him. The first step is, “Lord, I’m taking my feet off the ground this time.” “Lord, I’m putting my feet on the pedals this time.” “Lord, I’m pedaling, and turning, I’m stopping and starting, putting my trust in You on this bicycle journey. Look Dad, no hands!”

    Thanks!

    Kimball

  6. Kiel West says:

    I simultaneously read “So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore” and Kevin DeYoung’s “Just Do Something” which addresses the will-of-God topic you guys covered. I suspect that your views (Wayne/Brad) line up pretty closely with Kevin’s. I’d be curious to hear your take on it.

  7. Andrew Gissler says:

    Oh my gosh. Wayne and Brad, yes, I am one of those you think is silly for listening to all of the whole archives, but let me tell you. Brad, Father just said something through you that released a lie from my heart. I love my wife greatly, but have consciously or unconsciously for years taken my affirmation of being loved to her and she has never been able to satisfy my heart. Not because she is not trying, but as you sort of said Brad she was “the crack dealer” that I was trying to get my next hit from. I had heard things like that from many different source before, but that analogy has freed be today in ways I cannot begin to state. Thank you. Andrew

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