Friday, June 1, 2012

The Mini Bike and the Parade - by Chuck Gibson

When I was about 8 or 9 years old, my parents bought me a used mini bike from my cousin for $20. That summer, when it was time for the county fair, there was always a parade. My dad asked me if I wanted to ride my mini bike in the parade, and of course, I said yes.

So, the time came when we loaded the bike in the back of our truck and headed off toward town. When we arrived, there were people everywhere. We found a group of kids, all of them older than me, and all of them on motorcycles. They were revving their engines and spinning their wheels. To say the least, I was a little bit intimidated. My dad unloaded the mini bike, gave me instructions to stay with the group, and said he would meet me at the place where the parade would end. He then disappeared in the crowd.

When the parade began, we headed down the street. People were lined up on both sides, and there I was, parading through town with these cool older kids. All was well with the world, that is until my mini bike began to sputter and all of a sudden....the engine died. Distraught, I pushed it over to the curb, where I stood as the parade slowly began to pass me by. "What if I can't get it started, I thought?" And, it felt as if the whole world was pointing their finger at me and laughing. As sweat began to drop from my nose, I pulled the starter rope again and again and again. I was doing EVERYTHING my dad had taught me about starting the bike, with no success. Then it hit me. How was my dad going to find me? How was I going to get to the end of the parade, where he would be waiting for me? Fear began to take over. That nervous feeling you get in your stomach, when you want something so bad isn't going your way, slowly began to take over inside me. I was almost ready to panic when suddenly, with one more pull of the rope, the engine started! Without hesitation, I sped off down the street as fast as I could go to catch up with the cycling crew that had left me behind. With a big sigh of relief, I was once again back in the parade.

And then, as fate would have it, my rejuvenated spirit was short-lived, as a little farther along the parade route, my worst fear came true. It happened again. The engine died, once more. Once again, I pushed bike over to the side of the street as again, the parade proceeded without me. I was devastated, but I refused to give up as I frantically tried to get the bike started again. All the stress, fears and embarrassment I had  experienced earlier, had increased a thousand percent. I reached down to pull the starter rope and this time, thankfully, it started right away. I managed to catch up with the rest of the cycling crew and this time, I made it to the end of the parade. Looking around, my dad seemed to appear from nowhere. I told him all about the troubles I had along the route as we loaded the mini bike onto the truck and headed home.

The next day was Sunday. At Church, after the service had ended, a kind lady said, "Hey Chuck, I saw you in the parade yesterday." Her comment brought a big smile to my face until she added, "It looked like you were having trouble with your mini bike!" With my headed hung low, I said "Yes, ma'am!" Then she said, "It was so funny, because your dad was with my husband and I in our horse-drawn wagon just a short distance behind you, and every time your mini bike's engine would die, your dad would leap from the wagon and  take off running to help you, but each time, as he drew near, you managed to start the engine and take off, leaving him standing there watching carefully as you sped away."

I realized suddenly that all the stress and fear I had experienced the day before was for naught. My dad had been there with me the entire time, and I had no idea! It's the same way with my Heavenly Dad. When I am stressed, He is always there, waiting for me to call out to Him. Matthew 11:28 says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I give you rest." 

God can and will do the same for you. I hope you will let Him.


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