I recently read a blog from a friend of mine that took his son to the amusement park. His son was finally tall enough to ride on the roller coasters, and he could not wait to show his son the ‘roller coaster’ ropes. His anticipation as a father to watch his son’s reaction to the terrifying drops, fast twists and turns, and the thrill of the ride brought to life the memories of his own first roller coaster experience. Hopping on the first ride, his son gripped the cross-bar extra tight and clinched up in unknown expectations.
Click-click-click…they ascended their first climb.
The post made me think back to my own experience as a child on my first roller coaster. The wooden coaster in Denver called The Twister was the one that initiated me into the roller coaster world. Hopping into the cart I scooted next to my father and braced myself for action. Click-click-click…..
I think I may have peed my pants that day. My dad was next to me laughing and yelling with both his hands in the air, and I was clinching the metal bar in front of me crying for dear life. I was pretty sure this would be the one ride where the cart flew from the track and I’d be done for.
The cart twisted through tunnels, climbed to new heights, and meandered on the wooden tracks like a red rider wagon going downhill without brakes. We came around a bend and suddenly in front of us was the staging platform and the train came to a stop.
With a smile on his face, I was positive that my father had officially lost his marbles, along with the other 200 people waiting in line to ride this thing. After I peeled my hands from the metal railing, I stumbled toward the exit, more terrified than I had been to start with. These people were crazy.
Well, after some time, I grew to love roller coasters. I realized that sometimes to experience great things in life, you have to let go of your natural control mechanisms and have faith that we will survive the ordeal.
The last several weeks of my life have literally been a roller coaster. I have had the biggest ups and downs of my life so far and have questioned God’s purpose in taking me on the coaster to begin with. Just like I was as a kid on my first coaster ride, I have been terrified of the next bend but hopeful that everything will be OK and we will reach the staging platform in one piece.
My friend’s blog was so timely as I thought about my current situation. I am once again the child, and God is taking me down the track. I must have faith that the track is there, and that the experience will be one that I look back on and say ‘knowing what I know now, I’d do it again in a second’. I guess that’s the meaning of faith, and sometimes you just gotta throw up your hands and scream.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.