I can’t ride a bike.



I was always pretty athletic. I have played or coached baseball most of my life. I love basketball and play golf reasonably well. I still work out three or four times a week and I can lift more now at 40 than I could at 20.

I can’t ride a bike.

I was always pretty athletic. I have played or coached baseball most of my life. I love basketball and play golf reasonably well. I still work out three or four times a week and I can lift more now at 40 than I could at 20.

But I still can’t ride a bike.

I haven’t even tried since I was about 8. It wasn’t from my parents’ lack of effort. They tried to get me to ride a bike. I had Big Wheels and other pedal propelled vehicles and loved them.
So when I was still very young, my parents bought me a bike for my birthday.

I hated that thing.

So they tried different methods over time and I still never gave the bicycle a second glance. A couple of years later, they thought I might try again if they got me a new bike of my own.
There are great photos of me on this bike, with both feet flat on the ground.

You see, I was pretty stubborn back then. I’m still a little stubborn now. My mom would be jealous because when my boss tells me to do something, I do it without pushing back too hard. But in my defense, my allowance now is a lot better than it was back then.

I don’t know if it was a personality trait or some kind of emotional baggage from being overweight that was the issue. Other kids wanted to get on their bikes and go.
What they called freedom, I called being out of control.

I had to overcome that in many ways growing up, and in most areas I did. I ride roller coasters, enjoy being pulled behind a boat on a lake, and have learned to love that feeling of being out of control in many areas of my life.

But you still won’t find a bicycle with my name on it.

I used to be embarrassed by that. But I have realized over time that I can do some things very easily that people who ride a bicycle a hundred miles a week could never accomplish.

It’s just not my thing. Maybe someday, I’ll give it another shot. But it will be because I want to, not because I am ashamed or bothered by it.

I have gifts that I have been given and they are very different than gifts others have. That’s a good thing.

In his letter to the churches in Asia Minor who were suffering persecution, the Apostle Peter said, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:10)

All of us have to use our gifts in order for things to work smoothly at home, at work or at church.

I recently heard a sermon from Pastor Steven Furtick of Harvest Church in Charlotte, N.C.
He told his congregation that he has always admired people who are great in their chosen fields. But even though he respects doctors, you probably wouldn’t want him to be the one removing a tumor from your body. In the same light, he probably wouldn’t want to hear a sermon preached by a brain surgeon.

“God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness. His purpose is fulfilled in my strength,” Furtick said. “God put that gift in me because there is something he wants to do through me.”

It would be pretty arrogant to believe God needed our limited abilities to make the world work in the way he designed it to. But he can use us to help if we let him.

Furtick said it very well, “The gift you have received is not something that God needs. But if you offer it to him, it is something he can use.”

I don’t have to ride a bike to do what I need to do. But I do need to use the gifts I have in the correct way.

What are your gifts? How should you be using them?

Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta (Kan.) Gazette.