From the Pastor’s Desk
Surviving a trip to Six Flags with the youth has given me a deeper understanding of the ups and downs and twists of life. At times, we wish our lives could be like a simple train ride around the perimeter of the park, a simple whistle indicating when to stop and get on and off, with a few bumps, if any, along the way and forward progress at a steady pace. It sounds great until you discover you’ve been going in a circle and are right back where you started.
At other times, we simply want to glide over our problems like we do when we ride sky buckets that run on cables above the park, giving us a clear view of the whole area – a big picture view, if you will, of what’s below. As you rise over the park and see so many things at once, you begin to make sense of those printed maps you’ve been trying to follow all day long. You begin to wonder if, to God, we look as small or smaller than those tiny people who look like ants from up high, walking around and scurrying from place to place.
Sometimes life can seem like the Joker, a roller coaster that looks like a giant circle and seems harmless at first glance … that is, until you realize it takes you in circles, then all of a sudden it leaves you stuck at the top completely upside down. Not that any of us have ever had our lives turned upside down or felt like we’ve been going around in circles.
At yet other times, life is like the big Scream Machine, a roller coaster that boasts high speeds, deep drops and a long track. Did I mention it has been running since the ’60s and is one of the oldest rides at Six Flags? It makes you wonder if it will come crashing down one day. Many live in fear that their lives might do the same. They’ve hit the highs and lows and have been going for a long time and are wondering if their time is nearly up.
When it seems like things could not possibly get any worse, there’s the Harley Quinn Spinsanity, which basically makes you go in a circular pattern as your car itself spins in circles. Life can seem like it’s spinning out of control at times and we hold on the best we can.
Or maybe you’ve experienced the Acrophobia, a ride that takes you up, up and away, several stories up in the air, only to drop you suddenly at a high rate of speed. Life can have its disappointments too, times when we were soaring high and suddenly came crashing down.
At the end of the day, riding the rides at Six Flags – like going through life – requires faith. At the park, you trust that things will not fall apart, that like others who went through the ride before you, you will survive and you don’t have to go through it alone. In life, our faith is in Jesus and we know we are not alone in the journey. We trust that even if we’ve been going in circles, He will get us home. Even if we have experienced terrible disappointment, He never disappoints. Even if we fear what is to come, He reminds us He is still in control. We believe that Jesus understands our ups and downs. More than that, we know that Jesus will ride with us. He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. When the ride gets rough, or things get turned upside down, remember Jesus is right there with you.
-By Pastor Miguel