I used to love amusement park rides. There was nothing too rough, too bumpy, too spinny, or too fast for me. Then, sometime in my 20s things I used to love started to make me nauseous. I’m not alone in this. My kids, however, inherited that childhood love of mine and drag me onto the Tilt-a-Whirl, Scrambler, and all the other classics when given the chance. I oblige as I am able then, when the cold sweat comes and the sense of balance goes, I say “no more” and find a bench in the shade to recover.
On this particular day I’d said “no more” and found the right bench but was persuaded to get on a small, very old Ferris Wheel. It had been a while, but I love a good, tall Ferris Wheel like the one of the boardwalk at Ocean City. On that Ferris Wheel you can pause at the top and see the moon shining over the ocean, hear the screams and laughter far below yet somehow still smell the zeppoli and pizza in a combination that’s pretty close to paradise for me.
So I said “sure,” it’s just a Ferris Wheel, and got strapped in, only to realize too late that this was an old-fashioned thrill ride type Ferris Wheel with the rocking cars and that sinking, zero-gravity feeling in the stomach when you go over the top. I was in no shape for this ride, it was going too fast, and I really wanted to get off.
I could almost say the same thing about this Summer: it’s going too fast, and I’d really like to get off and press pause on these perfect, blue-skied days and long evenings, get-togethers, get-aways, vacations, and all the good parts of this good life we share. Other times things are moving too fast toward something we don’t want to do or something we can’t control or avoid, and yet, still, round and round, and too fast it all goes.
My prayer for all of us this day is that we are able to take time to celebrate the simple reality of what is, no matter how frenzied or frenetic everything else in your life may be. If there is something looming on the horizon causing you dread, I pray you can rest in this given day, remembering that the freedom we enjoy in Christ is a freedom to live abundantly no matter the circumstances.
Grace and Peace,
When you were dead because of the things you had done wrong and because your body wasn’t circumcised, God made you alive with Christ and forgave all the things you had done wrong. He destroyed the record of the debt we owed, with its requirements that worked against us. He canceled it by nailing it to the cross. When he disarmed the rulers and authorities, he exposed them to public disgrace by leading them in a triumphal parade.
Colossians 2:13-15 (CEB)