My husband bought me a new bike for Mother’s Day. Well, it’s new to me, anyway. It’s one of those hybrid bikes, with the large-tread tires and shocks on the handle bars. He found it at a thrift store at a great price and if you didn’t know better, you’d swear it was brand new.

I’m pretty pumped about it, pun intended.

This new bike by far beats my old ten-speed, which I’d had for decades out of sentimental value and sheer stubbornness. That bike was a storehouse of memories – rides through the neighborhoods with the kids, breezing along the shores of Lake Michigan, coasting through the wooded park lands near our home. How could I ditch all that?

Plus, it seemed that one of the kids was in need of a new bike each season and so that always came first. I’d sigh and tell myself that my clunky old ten speed would do for another year even though its frame was way too big for my 5-foot 2-inch body and too heavy for me to manage with ease. As the kids grew more independent, we rode together less and less. Eventually, I gave up on my ten speed entirely and it was relegated to the back of the garage. That’s where it’s been for many years.

Until now.

Now I have a light-weight bike with frame that’s just my size and all the features that will allow me to handle it and ride with ease. I have no more excuses. It’s time to re-initiate a cherished old hobby.

My first ride on the new bike was comical indeed. Frankly, I’m not used to having a bike that weighs so little and fits me so right. Add to that the fact that I haven’t ridden a bike in a good long time and you have the makings of a hilarious home video. Don’t get your hopes up. Cameras and cell phones were banned from my maiden voyage.

Friends had assured me that the art of riding a bike would come back to me as soon as I hopped on and started pedaling. It didn’t, much to the neighbors’ amusement, I’m sure. Tell the truth, I was fairly amused myself. My husband came with me on his bike and we made a careful route around the side streets near our house. One block, then another, then another. Eventually my antics turned into achievement and then into success. To this day, I’m grateful to my mother for passing on to me her ability to laugh at herself. I used it a LOT on that first bike ride!

My new bike adventure reminds me of my prayer life. I can stubbornly cling to old routines, devotions, and methods even though they don’t really suit me. They might have sentimental value or I might be too lazy to choose something else. It’ll cost too much to change and so I make do with the old ways. I keep plugging along because after all, I am moving forward. I’m just not moving efficiently and effectively. I’m not doing terrible; I’m just not doing great.

At some point, it becomes too cumbersome and I have to search for methods that better suit me. I resist, of course because the old ways are familiar even if not productive. It requires a concerted effort to discover a new means of prayer that will fit just right. It might take more than one try, too.

 Finally, I do find the right fit. It might feel awkward at first, but eventually the ride gets smoother.

Then, I really begin to soar.