The sun was bearing down on our necks. I tried to smoothly fan my armpits to make sure sweat didn’t show. I peered around the dude wearing huge flowered shirt in front of me, who was eating a corndog and funnel cake at the same time.
Was this line EVER going to move? HURRY. UP.
Those were the days of theme park rides. I have to say that I have (sadly) grown out of that thrill, but for a teenager, “riding rides” was as good as it got. (Sidenote: unless you have a super strong stomach, don’t eat a corn dog and funnel cake right before you get on a ride that is name something along the lines of “Roller Coaster of Doom…” you will most likely embarrass yourself and gross out everyone around you. Just sayin.)
I have never been a thrill-seeker or fan of heights. When I was asked to climb on top of the grain bins while working on a pig farm one summer, I was so scared I thought I was going to have a stroke. But for some reason, theme park rides were a novelty that I sought out, regardless of the profuse sweat, long lines and uncertainty if I would live to see tomorrow.
Worlds of Fun, Six Flags, Disney World, take your pick. But the mother of all “Riding Rides” experience for the Lacey family was The Missouri State Fair. (Specifically: the Tilt-A-Whirl and Scrambler. Two names that could easily insinuate what could happen if you ate a corn dog and funnel cake before boarding.) Those were the days.
But as of this writing, I can’t really remember the last time I went to a theme park or “rode rides” at a fair… Probably because I no longer need to seek that thrill. Why? Because most days, I feel like I am on one big roller coaster of adult life.
I don’t want to get all cliche-ish… but sometimes life really is one big theme park ride. And unlike the “rules” of my youth to avoid “upside down” and “leg dangling” rides, it seems that God really likes to make our lives exciting.
Up, down, twisting, turning, forward, backward, sideways, in the light, in the dark, through the water, out of a tunnel, plummeting to the bottom, creaking to the top… Theme park rides of life can be exhausting. Or awesome.
Think about your life, right where you are today. Are you on a ride where you are squealing with joy? Or have you made it onto the ride, sat down and began to panic: “Let me out, let me off, I’VE CHANGED MY MIND!!” Or maybe you just wanna throw up. (It happens.)
God is our ride of life operator. He knows every twist and turn that we will experience. He understands when we are scared, excited, or simply sick with the thought of experiencing the ups, downs and all arounds. However, unlike that creepy carney from the fair rides of long ago, He doesn’t just stand around looking bored and checking his watch to see when he can close down.
Instead, God climbs into the seat next to us. He takes our hand. And changes our panic into peace.
God probably won’t give you permission to jump off the crazy upside-down, feet-dangling, million mile per hour ride and go sit on the bench, watching the action while you sip your Coke. But He will bring you such deep and overwhelming peace that you can sit back, relax, toss up your hands and enjoy the ride.
Embracing the ups, downs and all arounds,
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
OH… One more thing… Today is the LAST DAY for our Jesus Caffeine Giveaway… See Friday’s Post for details, or simply comment and/or share here to enter!