Jan. 10, 2017

Keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times.....

When I was about five years old, my family went for an outing to Peppermint Park. Peppermint Park was Houston’s precursor to Astroworld.  If you are under the age of 30, you have absolutely no idea what I am talking about.

My older sister and I stood in line for Peppermint Park’s roller coaster. My sister assured me it would be fun so being the tag-along little sister, I lined up right behind her.  We slowly made our way up the ramp until I felt someone grab my arm and say, “Roni Lee! Get out of line! This is too rough for you and you’re not big enough!” It was my Daddy.

My Daddy made his way up the ramp by climbing on its outer edge easing his way to the exact spot where my sister and I stood. He repeated to both of us that he did not want us riding the roller coaster. It was too rough and we weren’t big enough.

We got out of line because our Daddy told us to but I have to tell you that I grew up LOVING roller coasters.

I want to share something with you. What our country is experiencing right now is like waiting in line for a roller coaster. We haven’t even boarded the ride yet, but some of us are already questioning our decision. Others of us are ready to get out of line before it even begins. Still, others have people telling us to step away and play it safe.

Then, there are those of us who love roller coasters. We are totally okay with the turbulence coming up. In fact, some of us are willing to sit at the front of the ride and be the first to see what’s coming around the next bend. Then there are those of us willing to sit in the very last car knowing that it will be the roughest experience of all. We are daring so we are not only willing to sit in the last seat on the ride, we are more than willing to hold our hands up and yell, “Weeeeee!”

We understand that there are people on the ground, in the line, or on the ride thinking, “You people are crazy.” 

Roller coasters have safety precautions in place. There are seatbelts to strap yourself in; although I am not convinced they would do much good if the car ran off the track. There are warning signs alerting you to what is just ahead. There is even a sign posted before you enter the ride that says, “You must be this big” providing the safe height to fit securely in the ride. If you aren’t big enough to enter the ride safely and remain seated at all times, you don’t get to ride the roller coaster.

You know what? Some of you simply aren’t up for the ride. You’d rather go to the log ride and feel refreshed. Others of you have decided you will ride in the middle seats to play it safe. You don’t want to be in the front car seeing what is coming but you don’t want to be in the last car feeling all the bumps and getting all the bruises.

Fasten your seatbelts, folks. Keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times or you risk injury. We’re not sure how bad or good this ride is going to be but we see the warning signs and know it is going to be really bumpy. After all, we’re on a roller coaster! I encourage you to read Psalm 37. It’s a step-by-step survival guide for life’s roller coasters.

Whether or not we come out of the ride smiling or crying is really up to our Operator. Unless you are depending on the guy who built the ride. The guy that built the ride is out to make money and give us a thrill.

“The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.” Psalm 37:40