On Friday we went to an amusement park together. Dollywood had lots of rides, shows, and attractions. Some of our group left midway through the day due to the sweltering heat, but our family and my nephew toughed it out until the park closed. We found lots of rides we wanted to go on and we wanted to see the fireworks at the end of the day.
We went on all of the roller coasters and big rides early in the day. In the middle of the afternoon we figured out that we hadn't visited a section of the park that had lots of smaller rides like the scrambler. We headed over there and my husband found something really fun...the teacup ride.
Now, that may not sound very fun to you. Pretty tame, right? Not for my thrill seeking husband. Gary rode it first with our daughter Erin. He got that teacup spinning as soon as the ride started and it didn't quit spinning until it stopped with a jerk when the attendant stopped the ride. It was fun to see Gary laughing and Erin trying to keep her head from going back from the force of the spinning.
Next, he got right back on with Dylan and Allison. It was a little harder to spin it as fast with three people, but he still got it spinning like crazy.
We rode a few other rides, then came back to do it again. This time I videotaped as Gary rode "Lemon Twist" with Allison. My son Blake and nephew Phillip were in another car, spinning like mad as well. We laughed from the side as we watched because Allison could not keep her head from flying back. They got off and I decided that I would be missing out on something if I didn't experience this ride. I knew I couldn't ride with my husband or I might throw up (I had almost lost it on the dizzy disk a little earlier). I grabbed my son and we ran to get in line. He got it spinning right away and we laughed as the world began to spin. Pretty soon it wasn't funny anymore. I started to feel a little sick but I hung in there. The whole world was a blur around us. I could not see one single thing outside of our little teacup. The only thing I could see clearly was my son, sitting right across from me. We endured the ride and I laughed as I walked shakily back to the rest of our family. I'm glad I tried it.
In the week since then, I've been thinking about spinning. Sometimes our lives seem to spin out of control, just like the "Lemon Twist" ride. Broken relationships, illness, frustrations, financial difficulties, and all sorts of other problems can leave us reeling. We hang on for dear life and try not to throw up as everything around us seems to be a blur. The only thing not moving, the only thing we actually can focus on, is God. He's the only constant in our lives, especially when circumstances seem unsure. We can fix our eyes on His loving face and trust that the rest of the world will still be there when we stop spinning out of control. He'll steady us as we move on, even if we're still dizzy and shaken.
Life can be a wild ride, but I wouldn't want to miss a moment of it, especially with my Savior right there with me.
"Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways." (Proverbs 4:25-26 NIV)
Does your life seem to spin out of control at times? How can keeping your focus on God help you to get through those times and keep moving on?