A few Sunday mornings ago I discovered that my son's bicycle that had been stored with our two other bikes in our parking spaces in our condominium garage had been stolen. I had purchased it two months ago for his ninth birthday. I had ordered the 24 inch,18 gear bike to be his last before he would get a really good adult bike to ride perhaps for the rest of his life.
When it arrived and he first attempted to ride it we discovered it was too big for him -- riders should clear the cross bar by at least an inch (suggested 2 inches) to avoid crouch injuries on dismount. But we decided to keep it and allow him to grow into it. It was a little difficult for him to mount and dismount, but I knew that over time and with practice he would develop the skill to handle mounts safely. Until then I would run along beside him to provide assistance with mounting and dismounting the bike. I figured I had a few more weeks of this before I was comfortable enough to allow him to ride on his own. A side benefit is that I discovered I am a better runner than I knew, and I realized running had more to do with my motivation than ability.
But it was in my mind to order a 20 inch bike and just keep the 24 inch bike that he would be ready for next year when his younger brother (by 11 months) would require a larger bike than the one 16 inch bike passed down to him.
When I noticed that the bike was gone, I immediately determined to not let the theft ruin my day. I had a busy day planned starting with a morning fellowship with two other families before church, and I was on my way to get a take-out package of coffee and bagels for the group that would be meeting at our place within the hour. Our focus was not to be the theft of my son's bike. So I continued on to Einstein Brothers Bagels. I returned with the coffee and bagels and we had a really great fellowship. And amazingly the theft did not cross my mind.
I had to apologize to my son because I had not re-secured his bike when I returned from a brief ride. While I had purchased him a new big boy bicycle I had not purchased a separate chain and lock and had been running the single chain through the frames of our three bikes. The apology went well. I expected more of a problem in telling my wife, but this also went well. Now all that was needed was to replace the bike. So I went online and made the purchase.
I felt really good about all that had happened. Through
it all I had not thought to be my own avenger
(Romans 12:19 (KJV)
It was not until I began to see similar bikes, maybe even exactly like the one taken, that I began to think that perhaps I should confront the rider and inquire about their acquisition . . .this brand new bike is a little small for you isn't it? Do you have a receipt? But when I considered the possible follow-ups, I assured myself that it was best left in God's hands and my job was to not care about the matter.
About four weeks later when the bike suddenly re-appeared, I was extremely happy and knew I had made the right choice. I knew that God could return to me 100 fold the funds for the purchase of the replacement bike, and who knows whether He still will. But I was pleased to have the have the bike back and not have to purchase a new 24 inch bike. Who knows but that it was a safety measure to ensure that my son was not injured trying to ride the larger bike? The only thing for me to do was rejoice!