FROM YOUR PASTOR’S HEART May 15,2023
Some people love roller coasters and some of us do not! Since I am not a great fan of heights, roller coaster rides have zero appeal to me. I remember my first experience on such a ride, when Sandy and I were engaged to be married. We went to “Six Flags Over Texas” with some dear college friends, who were also engaged, and they convinced me to get on a roller coaster. As we were going down the first dip, Sandy screamed at the top of her lungs and begged to get off. I clung to her, buried my head in her shoulder and prayed for most of the ride. My buddy lost his cowboy hat at that same time, which he had worn all over Europe on a school trip. What I recall most vividly is when the ride was finally over, Sandy looked me right in the face and said: “Let’s ride it again!”
I have been coaxed into a few other similar rides in my lifetime, but I have yet to enjoy any of them. I have difficulty finding a thrill in the jostling and jerking motion of these amusement park adventures. One of my grandsons, who shall remain nameless, shares my lack of enthusiasm, as he passed out in the middle of one roller coaster ride. Several years ago, we took a group of CBC teens to “Cedar Point” in Sandusky, Ohio. We had been on a mission trip to Cincinnati, working with church plants in the city. As a reward for their week of hard work, we took them to this death-defying haven located in the middle of some cornfields, boasting of “18 world-class roller coasters.” I spent the entire day drinking coffee and praying for the Lord’s protection over our kids.
As much as I detest roller coasters as an amusement park ride, I dislike the ups and downs of this real-life journey even more. It is hard to watch people you love dealing with the radical shifts of highs and lows that come into our lives. Even with my fear of heights, it is the low points in life that cause the greatest concern. My heart breaks to see how quickly we can go from riding high, with everything going well, to a sudden drop that takes your very breath away! In truth, the answer to such a frightening experience in life is the same thing that I resorted to on the roller coaster rides in my past. The key to survival is prayer! The same God who is with us at the apex of our pilgrimage, is watching over us at lowest points, as well. When this thrill-ride called life gets too scary for me to face, I simply close my eyes and look to our Heavenly Father for help. Let me urge you to be faithful to pray for one another, during this roller coaster ride!
Serving in love, Bro. Jim