Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Open Your Eyes, Girl! You don't want to miss this!

Have you ever felt like you, somehow, got on a roller coaster ride that just wouldn't end?  Like there was some malfunction in the controls that put the ride into a constant cycle of ups, downs, twists, and turns and loopy-loops and upside down craziness?  Like you were going to throw up if things just didn't settle?

Am I alone in this?


I didn't think so.  That's life.

Have you ever noticed, when you're on a ride like that, where your eyes are focused?
Right now, I want you to close your eyes (okay, wait, that won't work if you're reading this)...No, just imagine with me for a moment that you've reached the front of the line.  Finally! After 2 1/2 hours in a hot, sweaty, smoldering line with way too few stinky smelly water misters and no breeze in the air, you're there!  You're getting seated and strapped in and you've chosen the best seat on the train. 

You're in the front row!  You listen for all the clicks and you anxiously wait for the roller coaster operator to take his station at the controls.  You sit with anticipation as you listen to the warnings and rules, all the while thinking, "Yeah, yeah...we got it! Let's go!"

There it is, the first clickety-clack of the chain underfoot and the train starts to inch its way up that first big hill.  Where are your eyes focused?

That's right - on the top of the hill! 

As you finally summit the hill and begin to fall down that first decline and approach the next big twist of the track, where are you focused? 

Yep.  On that big loopy-loop ahead. 

Do you see where I'm going with this?  It seems we're always looking toward the next big event in the ride, the next thrill, the next time our stomach will turn and we'll feel the adrenaline rush that comes with not knowing what will come after that. 

Now, if you're like me, the very idea of even thinking about getting on a roller coaster scares the $!%!&@ out of you!  I do not particularly enjoy these thrill rides.  They're way too fast, way too high, and way too unpredictable for me.  I have this completely ridiculous fear that the coaster will mean my demise.

I tend to ride roller coasters in this way: eyes tightly closed - so tight that the only colors I see are those that magically appear when the sunlight hits one's eyelids, hands tightly gripped on the lap bar, lips held so tightly together that there is absolutely no way anything is either coming out or going into my mouth, and mind racing quickly with every fear, prayer, and worry about how my life would end in the 3 minutes I'm on the ride. 

It is not fun for me to ride the coaster. 

But, when I get off the ride, I'm typically always proud of myself for doing it, realizing that I was perhaps a little silly for being so terrified and realizing that I missed the real experience because my eyes were closed and I refused to fully experience the moment.  I missed whizzing through the trees, feeling the rush of adrenaline and the thrill of the scream.  I missed so much that for a moment, a very, very brief moment, I consider getting back in line!

Well, life can be a little bit like that roller coaster ride.  If we don't allow ourselves to live in the moment, to experience the ride, to see the thrill in the whizzing through the trees and the excitement in the scream, we'll miss too much.

Life will surely bring new twists, turns, ups, downs, and loopy-loops.  Of this, I am sure.  I know they will come because no one ever said life would be easy, all the time.

So, when the next moment comes when the track tosses me another way, I'll be okay with it.  I refuse to let any more moments find me caught up in fear.  I will, instead, be IN the moment, eyes wide open and ready for whatever may come. 

Be ready.
Be patient.
Be confident.
Be trusting.
Be willing.
Be obedient.
Be open.
Be unashamed.
Be still.

Just Be. 

I will be Know that He is God and that He designed the track of my life and that He is in control. He's double checked the structure for safety and, in areas where pieces may be weak or tired or old and worn out, He will be there to catch me if I fall.  He will plan new pieces of track and He will install switches right where they need to be, so that my life will take the path He has laid out for me. 

This ride will not be my demise. 

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