first time

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There’s a first time for everything… When we’re young, those “first time” things stand out due to the significant changes brought about by the “first time” events.

I recall in vivid detail getting my first bicycle. It was red, had tall, “pull back” handlebars, but most importantly, it had a sissy bar. Yeah I know, it doesn’t sound too cool now, but back then it was the coolest thing ever.

The sissy bar was located at the back of the banana seat, it extended vertically from the seat about 18″ out of chrome metal tubing and looped at the top in a radius half the width of the cool banana seat itself.

I’ll never forget that painful day I actually learned to ride that red bike. Sometimes good change can be painful… So it was with the day I learned to ride that bike.

The first thing my brothers did, with the approval or at least the understanding of my mom and dad, was unbolt the training wheels that came on the bike and toss them in the trash can.

There would be no pretending to be a big kid. If I was going to be one, I’d have to earn it the old fashioned way. To the top of the street where it just so happened to be the top of the hill as well. My brother Bobby ran with me for a distance shouting, “It’s all you”! – “You’re doin’ it”!

By the time Bobby was at a full speed run, one more encouraging shout, and as hard a push as he could muster, I was off… Doing it… No turning back, sink or swim, ride or crash… The latter was to be…

Into an old Buick that seemed half a block long as I flipped over the hood, roof, and trunk, before landing on my knees and hands behind the old tank.

The blood and bruises could barely be felt as I peddled the only street I could ever remember living on. The sacrifice of pain was well worth the price of admission into my new world of independence.

My nerves tickled in my low back with the thought of having my own car, similar to earlier years thinking about going to Disneyland.

Every summer for three years before I was old enough to drive, I worked. I walked, hitchhiked, caught a ride with other guys, or drove my oldest brother’s car illegally to get to work, year after year, with one goal in mind. I wanted a car with every fiber of my being and not just any car, I wanted a cool car.

Working outside in the Arizona sun in the summer time was the only means I had to fulfill the dream of my “first time” car. How ever many gallons of sweat given year after year along with blisters and blood was a small price to pay for what my heart desired the most; that first car.

There’s really nothing like the first time, whether it’s a positive thing or a negative event in life; we’re never the same after the innocence is lost. The gifts or blessings of freedom and independence rarely remain neutral. We’ll use our gifts in honorable ways or dishonorable ways.

I have to admit I used my transportation modes of bikes and cars to drive myself straight into the heart of trouble.

After chasing the winds of a fool, God allowed me to figure out something that some people I don’t think ever grasp. The only thing in life that has the same effect as “the first time” is the forgiveness for those of us that belong to Him.

God’s love and mercies begin new every morning as shared by Jeremiah in Lamentations. For the forgiven, we have the miracle of “the first time” everyday. Even after we’ve lost that right by nature, God grants us the miracle of a new day of His forgiveness.

There is nothing in this physical world that compares to the supernatural blessings supplied by God, brand new for the first time today, and every day for the rest of our lives.

I really just grasped the depth of this, which just goes to show…

There’s a first time for everything…