Enjoy the Ride

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.

Dad and my lil Bro Dal... at the Missouri State Fair in 2009.

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.

Yeah. This is how some of us feel daily about our ride of life...

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,

SGK

“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!

Categories: adventure, challenge, God, peace | Tags: , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “Enjoy the Ride

  1. Love that image of God climbing onto the ride beside me to hold my hand. Beautiful post.

  2. Love this. Great analogy. And i love roller coasters…the real life one and the ones at theme parks. But i still get scared and sick…on both.

    • Hey, me too… although I haven’t really ever vomited on a roller coaster and not too much in real life either. Is that TMI?

  3. Kathy LaCross

    Love this!!! And love that pic of your dad and Dal. 🙂

    • Thanks, Kathy– I think this is hands down than any “staged” pic of these two wonderful men in my life… They are just so… them.

  4. I was just reminiscing with my daughter about our summer trips to the amusement park and how much we all enjoyed the roller coasters. I compared those especially high and scary rides to giving birth (we are expecting our first grand niece anytime now). I said that the first time I was in labor, there was a moment when it was like being just at the top of that first GIANT drop, and I wanted to scream just as you’ve written above: Let me out! I’VE CHANGED MY MIND!!.

    Really enjoyed your post and the analogy of God being our ride operator. It actually is a very comforting image, as I know I am safe in His hands.

    • I love the life analogy– I am sure we could come up with a list a mile long of great thrills in life, and other times when we begged to be let off the ride. But God knows what kind of ride we can handle! (Which is great, because otherwise I would either be a permanent dare devil or pansy… no happy medium.)

  5. Kally

    I have attended many a fair (Like 3-4 a year for my life). And life is really like a roller coaster, and I am Super happy that God is in charge of our lives and not people 🙂
    Great Blog 🙂

    • Thanks, Hoodie-Smith 🙂 I am right there with you, thanks Him above that he is driving this ride and not me. Or anybody else. Yikes!

  6. CJ Lacey

    This is my favorite picture of my boys!

  7. I love roller coasters! But, in general, I am so not a risk-taker. Unless of course, I know it is God who is asking me to let go and let Him show me where to get on. Like this SDG retreat — big risk, but I feel His peace, too.

    • I always love that moment when you know the bottom is about to drop out (either in a great thrilling way or a slightly terrifying way) but yet you still feel the peace. I am praying for your SDG retreat, Jen!

  8. Lori

    I have often likened life with God as a roller coaster ride. Speeding along faster and faster until suddenly it all slows and u realize had each twist and the confusion over where … to no, I dont want to becomes something totally unforseen . Then I realize had it not been for each detail -I would not have ended up in this perfect place. THank you, God for leading me places I would never have the courage to go. 🙂

    • Amen, Lori… If God wasn’t taking me to these crazy (but awesome) places, I would still be on the bench watching– or maybe even sitting in the car in the parking lot with the doors locked.

  9. stacy

    This is awesome! So glad you reminded me that someone is holding my hand!

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