Saturday, March 27, 2010

When the Ferris Wheel Stops

It was a long time ago . . . I was five years old. Yet, I still remember it all with perfect clarity. It was the first time in my life I felt truly on top of the world . . . like I could fly. I was at Disneyland with my family, and I was on my first ferris wheel ride.

Seated by my Mom, she held me close as the car swung back and forth. I felt secure, because I had her there. And I felt invincible. Even though it was dark, I could see everything around me for miles around. It was like one of those fair scenes from a 1950s movie . . . The carnival music was playing, the smell of hotdogs was in the air, and all the various games and rides were illuminated with colorful lights. The joyous screams of children on rollercoasters pierced the nighttime air, and gave me a sense of adventure. Yes, I loved that feeling of being on top of the world. I thought that ride would go on forever and ever . . .

But no, the Ferris Wheel eventually stopped, and we got off. It didn't even park us at the top for a while as I had hoped. The fun was over, for the time being, until we made our way to the tea-cups or some other kiddie ride.

I am an eternal optimist. I love to hope, and have much faith. Even if what I am hoping for is as fleeting as time spent on a carnival ride . . . I somehow talk myself into trusting that it will continue endlessly. I end up breaking my heart on that which is unrealistic . . . Even though I know I've been hurt before, and will be hurt again, my heart so longs for the utopian senario which somehow is unfortunately entrenched in my mind.

There are times in life when we're lost in the thrill. Lost in a heavenly diversion that seems as if it will go on forever. Then, we're suprised, even shocked, when it comes to an end. Even the realists among us tend toward this. We all get caught up in the "what-ifs" of life, hoping that one day, our dreams will come true. One day . . . all of a sudden, we find ourselves not on top of the world as we thought, but rather, stuck in a long line . . . awaiting the next ride.

What happens, when the ferris wheel stops?

Hebrews 13:5-6 says, "Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things that you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you," so that we may boldly say, "the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me."

I think this verse takes care of our ferris wheel dilemma.
When suddenly I am pulled back into reality, after my blinded heart has once again been hurt, it is so easy to turn to other things for satisfaction. After my glorious ride on that wonder wheel, it is easy to become dissatisfied. But the Lord tells us to be "without covetousness and content", because He ALONE should be enough to fulfill the desires of my wounded heart. Why do we turn to idols?

For different people, it may be different things. I tend to bury myself in work when I get stressed. Work becomes my idol. I'll stick my nose in my algebra textbook for hours on end and try not to think about my problems. But God has said, "Hey! I AM your helper. Why do you fear?" Yes, reality is scary. But we're not in it alone.

I am so grateful that when I stumble off the ferris wheel, I have Christ waiting for me at the "Exit" sign. An even greater adventure awaits, when the thrills of this life are left behind, and eternal ones are sought in their place.

Lord, please make me content in you. Thank you for being eternal and forever, when my worldly hopes are only for a moment.

~Lauren Lee

Fun Fact: (well. Actually. Not a fun fact)
Two poor souls have been taken from ferris wheel accidents in the last 23 years. Not as bad as rollercoasters, though - 16 people have died from those. Explains the cliche statement, "life is like a rollercoaster." Slight chance of you getting killed!

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