Life is like a Roller Coaster
I believe life is an adventure, sort of like a roller coaster. Like a roller coaster ride, life has its up and its downs, its peaks and its valleys. I think I should enjoy the up times of life with parties, singing, dancing, laughter, joy, praise and prayers of thanks. I think I should embrace the down and difficult times of my life as a challenge to change, sometimes a time to cry, sometimes to grieve. The difficult times help me to learn about myself, build character, grow in my faith, and to find strength from God.
When I ride through dark tunnels on a roller coaster, even though I cannot see, I know someone is steering my course. In life, like a roller coaster, there are times when I am in tunnels of darkness. Those times can be scary. I worry. I feel out of control. Those are the times I learn I need to trust, that even though I cannot see, God sees me on my journey. I believe I am a stronger person when I trade fear for trust that I am on the path that God has planned for me.
Because people are different I believe each of us have different ways of experiencing the ride. I remember working as a Realtor with transferees on a frantic four day house search. On the 4th day we were no closer to finding a house than the first. So on this day I had pulled out all the stops and really picked up the pace. This made for a hectic day. Robert the husband said “I could never do what you do.” I said “Robert, do what I do? I could never do what you do, put tiny needles in little tiny babies.” You see Robert was a Neonatologist with years of specialized medical training working with the smallest of human’s, premature babies. I learned a valuable lesson from his comment. We are all important in different ways. We each have unique gifts and talents. Did you ever think I could never do that? I think that every time I have my teeth cleaned. I could never be a dental hygienist but thankfully many people can. Some people seem to look more important than other people. I believe we are all valuable for what we can each contribute. The house keeper is just as important as the house builder or the house seller. I don’t ride alone, I ride with others.
Some rides are slower, others go faster. How long I ride may not be as important as how far I go. I believe some of us learn from just riding, and others teach or set an example. Some who set an example may even be thought of as heroes. One of my heroes was a young man named Mattie Stepank. Mattie battled muscular dystrophy with courage and dignity. He only lived to be thirteen years old but I believe he died with more wisdom than many eighty year olds.
Eventually the ride ends. Sometimes this happens suddenly, so it is important that I try to live each day to the fullest. Sometimes the ride ends slowly. My neighbor Carol is fond of a quote, “getting old is not for sissies”. For many, aging is a difficult part of the ride. I believe aging and illness are teaching me to rely more on my spiritual being and less on my physical body. I believe God provides for me in ways I do not always understand. If at the end of my life I looked and felt like I did when I was twenty, would I ever want to leave this world? I believe aging helps the transition from the physical to the spiritual.
Finally, I believe when the ride ends, when the adventure is finally over, it isn’t over at all but really just beginning.