WEEKLY ENCOURAGEMENT MARCH 15-19, 2021
There’s a starting point, a plain roll, a slow climb, a fast climb, a rest at the top, a hard drop, a rush in circles, a slow crawl, and the end.
If we compare our lives to a rollercoaster, I think there’s much to reflect on. We find ourselves in different seasons (like the ones mentioned above) and sometimes wonder how long a season will last or when it’ll end.
There are different seasons, different pacing, different battles, and different stories we must live out.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:”
I’m not a fan of roller coasters but I’ve had a little experience and am pretty sure that we wonder when we’d reach the top, when we’d drop, why the “no-thrill” part takes so long to get over, or why the loops are too short.
Are you in a loop, in a “no-thrill” zone, the top, the bottom, still trying to start, or did you stop in the middle?
What determines how you’ll get through the ride of life will be your focus, your momentum, your source, your perspective, your purpose, and who you’re holding onto.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4
We were at Universal Studios’ Island Adventure in Orlando. (We love Disney, but we can’t help but visit Universal Studios too) So I was almost nine when I went onto Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls (it was a rollercoaster for me) I don’t like big rides or roller coasters but since I liked Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges’ water ride so I thought this one would be fun too.
We started the ride. It was okay. I was fine. But then I remember the whole ride becoming dark. I couldn’t see much. I held onto my mom, digging my feet into the car. We sarted climbing.
I waited for the drop. I wanted to see the light at the other end of the dark tunnel. We dropped suddenly but I didn’t see the light. I knew the ride ended outside where there would be a big splash but it wasn’t there.
Realization dawned on me. We weren’t done.
We were outside now, and my fear got the best of me. A man stood at the side observing the ride and my embarrassing tears. My mom and the rest of my family with us, asked him if I could get out but he said I couldn’t. It was just one more drop and I’d be done anyway.
I held onto my mom as we climbed, tried to hold in the tears, and close my eyes.
We climbed. And the climb felt like forever. We finally reached the top and how wonderful it was to see everything after all that was endured! But then we dropped. The rush hit me and- it was fun! Sure, I didn’t go racing back to ride it, but when the ride was done, I realized that it could’ve been much more fun if I had relaxed, maybe even yelled, and released the tension inside. My family sure had fun.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” Hebrews 12:1-3
But I’m thinking that in life, many of us may feel the same. Your focus is not on the Light, your Heavenly Father with you, but rather on the situation you’re in. Maybe it’s not feeling productive or powerful because life seems slow or not as interesting as others. Or maybe instead of focusing on God, you focus on the darkness around you and the surprise drops life brings. Or maybe you focus on the long climb, the process, that seems to take forever.
As I write this, I realize that if only my almost-nine-year-old self realized that she was surrounded by family and that they were with her, enjoying the ride with her, there would be no need to worry. They trusted the car they were riding and so could she. They were together through the ups and downs, the dark times or the bright times.
I don’t know what you’re focusing on right now, but I challenge you to magnify God. Make Him bigger than the good and bad so that no matter what happens, you see Him for who He is.As for the momentum, I just want to say that stopping in any part of the ride is not a good idea. It can cause accidents and prolong the agony. The easy way out drains the destination of its value and the journey of its purpose.
I wanted the easy way out. But now I’m glad I didn’t follow through. I would’ve missed the bigger and most exciting part of the ride! Don’t miss what God has for you because you don’t want to endure the whole ride. Every twist, turn, drop, and climb are a part of the process to get to where you need to be. Trust in His presence that carries you there and hold onto Him as you endure and persevere through the ride. He is your Source, in Him is your purpose, and through Him.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
PRECIOUS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF DAVAO