We took our teens to Cedar Point last weekend, and several adults went as well. What a great time we had! I hadn’t ridden crazy rides in years, and the kids were surprised I was up for it. I mean, who pays money to go somewhere with thrills available and sits on a bench? Oh my…I did end up doing some bench sitting after I twisted myself into a pretzel a few times. The first ride we rode was the Millenium, and it did not disappoint – it was wild and crazy and thrilling. The second ride we headed for was in the western section of the park, and we were walking by cowboy type stuff and these little log houses and things, and for some reason, I got it in my head that this Maverick ride would be sort of piddly to give us a rest from what we went through in the Millenium. We got in line, and I didn’t even pay attention to what others were doing on the ride, just yacking away with the kids and totally oblivious. We get in the ride, get strapped down a million ways, and I’m wondering if this might be a little more rambunctious than I anticipated. What an understatement!
This ride had all these UNEXPECTED things: Shoot up to the top and then come not just straight down, but curve back to where you are ready to fly out and then straight down, go straight and make a crazy turn right as you were getting ready to fly into a pole, go in a tunnel slow down like the ride is over and then shoot like lightening out again. I was so NOT READY for all these unexpected things. It was like being in a pinball machine sort of, just never knowing where you were going to head. Doug Harper, our pastor, is an amusement ride nut, and he DID NOT WARN ME! First thing I said when I got off was, “Doug Harper, you did not share with me all this craziness was coming down!” He laughs, and we all stumbled off this ride like drunks in a stupor, and on to the next thing.
All day, that kept sticking with me, the unexpected nature of that ride, how if I had been expecting it, I might have enjoyed it more, instead of just being taken by surprise and feeling like someone had thrown me off a bus. And then God began to remind me of all His saints who had unexpected things come up in their life, and He began to deal with me on how I like things planned, in order, to know what might be coming, and how a life with Him is like an amusement ride: Ups, downs, sideways, curves you don’t expect, fast balls coming at you that you need to duck and avoid. I have always said the life of a Christian is an adventure, but when I began to examine the scriptures, there were SO MANY people in the Bible that had these crazy things happen to them, all ordained by God, with no planning, no order.
Think about Mary, the mother of Jesus, finding out she’s pregnant…..what???? Then there’s Job, who served the Lord and was righteous. Don’t we think if we serve the Lord, we are protected by these awful detours in the road? I began to think of what it would be like to be Job: My children all get killed in a car accident, then my grandchildren die of sickness, my business goes bankrupt, which means all my people lose their jobs too (didn’t Job’s servants suffer as he lost his wealth?), then because the business failed, we lose our home and have to live in a tent, having sold all we had – and then on top of that, you break out in terrible sores all over your body and have a dog licking your sores. It’s unimaginable for a saint of God to go through these things – but yet he did, to test his faith and to be an example to us.
I’m not sure what God is teaching me with this ride on the Maverick, but I believe he is saying I need to be a little more flexible, ready for a detour, ready for an abrupt turnaround in my life or my situation with no notice and no planning. And he’s asking me how I’m going to handle it – will I just curse God and die, or will I praise through the pain, praise through the sorrow, praise through the loss? Oh, God, help us to see our life as you see it, help us to be flexible and ready for whatever it is you have for us, not having to plan every minute to our satisfaction…..let’s strap down and get ready
My name is Teresa Evans. I am a wife to Tom, a retired Circuit Judge, and I am a court reporter by trade, a mother by God's grace and a lover of Jesus Christ. I've grown up in a family blessed with many miracles, and have received multiple miracles myself.