Thursday, March 3, 2011

Roller Coasters: The Ups and Downs of Life

If you like roller coasters, you probably relish that feeling of just coming over the crest.  That pause, and the anticipation of the plunge ahead.
Perchedphoto © 2007 Kathy | more info (via: Wylio)
I don't like roller coasters.  That pause before the drop is excruciating.  I don't know what's coming up, but I know it won't be good!

If you ever see me on a roller coaster--which is unlikely--you'll recognize me.  Here's what to look for:  Eyes closed.  Holding the bar as tight as I can with one hand, squeezing my husband's hand with the other.  Whispering "Please be over," alternating with "Help me, God."

I did the same thing on the Hollywood Tower of Terror ("a simulated free-fall thrill ride") at DisneyWorld.  Why anyone would want to ride an attraction that plunges you--without warning ... in the dark ... down an elevator shaft ... over and over--just escapes me.  I feel sick just thinking about it.

Andy and Tia Rollercoaster 02photo © 2007 Brian Kelley | more info (via: Wylio)But here's the thing:  even though those rides seem to last an eternity, they're actually over in just a few minutes--and we know that.  As miserable as those few minutes are for me, I know that it'll be over soon.  It just doesn't feel that way at the time!

Not so when we face trials in life.  Whether we're dealing with grief, relationship problems, illness, or some other challenge, we generally have no idea when it'll be over.  It's hard to persevere when we don't know when the end is coming!

If you're looking for the perfect answer here, you're looking to the wrong person. :)  All I can tell you is what I've been doing, which is a lot like what I do on a roller coaster.  I close my eyes and pray.  I stay close to people who care about me enough to "ride" with me.  And I hold on as tight as I can, knowing that the end will come.
The dark moments of our life will last only so long as is necessary for God to accomplish His purpose in us.
--Dr. Charles Stanley, 30 Life Principles

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12 comments :

  1. I love roller coasters!! Well, the rides.

    Sometimes I wish this roller coaster we call life would slow down, and the "drops" wouldn't be such a white-knuckle experience. And yes, everyday I pray for strength to get thru whatever this ride has in store for me.

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  2. Not to lighten your post up, but I usually close my eyes and chant over and over, "Don't be sick. Don't be sick. Don't be sick." Until it's done. :)

    I find prayers is my mainstay too. Prayer and counting your blessings. Anything can start to look up if you start counting your blessings from the very bottom...ok, we don't live in a box under a bridge yet. Thank you Lord. Ok, we still have food on the table. Thank you Lord. Ok, we still have clothes on our backs. Thank you Lord.

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  3. Yes, the emotional roller coaster that is often known as life is at times hard to ride through with your arms up in the air. I tend to force the down hills and end up hitting the curves a little harder then expected...finding that balance of riding it out, holding on tight, letting it come and go isn't something I've ever been "good" at. Such a delicate balance sometimes...and I'm not a very delicate person.

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  4. Yes, very well said. The only thing we can hold onto in this roller coaster of life is the Lord.

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  5. Good thoughts Melissa. I'm with you on the roller coasters - why would anyone want to do that? Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. It is much appreciated.

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  6. As always I love your post it keeps me thinking and knowing i'm no alone.

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  7. Great analogy! And I love the quote from Dr. Stanley. I'm glad I popped over to read this tonight.

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  8. God puts us on those roller coasters to increase our dependence on Him. Nice post!

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  9. very well put...
    side note, the boys loved tower of terror... and made me go...
    it was pretty fun, but once was enough :)

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  10. Who better to ride the roller coaster of life with than God? ;) Loved this post!!! Thank you for sharing it. :)

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  11. I like roller coasters. It occurred to me recently that, instead of fretting about my "roller coasters of life," I should just hang on, enjoy the ride, and trust God for my safety, just as I would on a real coaster.

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  12. "If you're looking for the perfect answer here, you're looking to the wrong person. :) All I can tell you is what I've been doing, which is a lot like what I do on a roller coaster. I close my eyes and pray. I stay close to people who care about me enough to "ride" with me. And I hold on as tight as I can, knowing that the end will come." Which is high on the list of best things to do.

    Have you ever gone through "The Truth Project" ? I've gone through half of it in the past. We just started it last night with our small group and I was just thinking about it and I realize that in the past eight years God has really and truly transformed me!!

    I am telling you this for no other purpose than I felt like telling someone right now and I was typing to you. Maybe it is encouraging to you. I know it is to me. (I am not suggesting you are in dire need of transformation). :)

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