We All Need a Roller Coaster Shaped Faith
I'm not good at riding roller coasters. In fact, on the rare occasions when I do find myself on a roller coaster, it is almost always followed by queasiness, vertigo and a general sense of wishing I was dead.
I wish I could ride roller coasters without feeling wretched afterward. Years ago, I psyched myself up to ride the Rockin' Roller Coaster at Disney Studios. It goes from 0-60 mph in like three seconds, which was amazing. Then it started doing loops, and twists and turns. For three seconds I felt like a million bucks and then for the rest of the ride I felt like a crumpled up dollar bill in a gutter.
In the end, my lack of desire to ride roller coasters comes down to the simple fact that I am not willing to trade control of all of my faculties, and hours of misery for a few moments of exhilaration.
Don't you wish that you could make the same kind of choice when faced with the twists and turns of life?
I don't know about you, but some days feel it feels as though I'm being strapped in to a ride that I really have no desire to experience. And sometimes we can see just enough of the track ahead to know that we're in for it.
Worry. Anxiety. Fear. Dread. All of these things can wash over you in those moments when you are facing life's roller coaster moments. What we want most of all in those moments is a simpler, more sedate way, something we can figure out easily in order to control it.
The renowned author and preacher Joyce Meyer once wrote about the importance of having faith in God in the roller coaster moments, "If you're trying to figure out everything in life, you must realize that it is just a habit, a bad habit, one that you will have to break."
The poet who penned Psalm 119:66 wrote these inspired words about developing the right kinds of habits--habits that help us trust our relationship with God will enable us to tap the resources we need to manage the ups and downs of life:
"Teach me good discernment and knowledge," the psalmist wrote, "For I believe in Your commandments."
In other words, keeping God's commandments, drawing closer to God, desiring God and keeping company with God enables us to tap in to the discernment and knowledge that we need when we are faced with those white-knuckle, hang-on-for-dear-life moments.
May you find the courage to give up our need for control of your own life, and in so doing may you discover the uncontrollable love and goodness of the One who knows all the twists and turns of the path before you.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.