Single Parent Faith

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Roller Coaster that is Life — Get on



Often life is compared to a roller coaster ride. I remember a great scene in the 1989 movie, Parenthood, with Steve Martin. The grandma speaks brilliance into the spiraling out of control, anxiety-filled Steve Martin character, as he’s faced with the unwanted news that his wife is now pregnant with their 4th child.

His mother interjects unsolicited wisdom:
“Life is messy.
You know, when l was younger, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster.
Up, down, up, down.
Oh, what a ride.

l always wanted to go again.
lt was just interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened...so scared, so sick, so excited...
and so thrilled all together.

Some didn´t like it. They went on the merry-go-round instead.
That just goes around.
Nothing.
l like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.”

The beginning of our ride, and the end are certain. These are the guarantees. But how about the in-between?

That’s where the living occurs.

We waste so much time in life worrying, fretting, stressing, complaining, not appreciating the life in-between, in essence, the roller coaster ride. It’s not until we are old enough, courageous enough, or just fed up enough, that we scramble to find purpose.

Saying yes to the ride, leads us to our purpose. 

Ever feel like you are stuck? You don’t feel like you’re growing or moving forward? The only way to move beyond the stuck point is “to do.” Action always is the answer to rut moments. They just don’t undo themselves without our action. We can pray and pray, but God expects action on our part. The roller coaster can’t deliver thrills unless it’s in motion.

God exists in the fluid motion of our actions. He cannot move through us, use our actions to further his reach, if we are unavailable to him— As we are when our self-absorption with our own pain and challenges keeps us from taking action. He cannot move through us to further His love if we are waiting on Him to make the move as we stall, as we stagnate, as we shrivel our heart’s potential. Wasted time (minutes, days, weeks, months, years) is gone forever. These moments in the waiting (waiting to live), procrastinating, don’t come back. I can’t tell you how many times I have waited on Him to show me a sign. One would think I was waiting on a map to drop down from the sky, to make things crystal clear. So crystal that it requires no risk on my part. No faith. No roller coaster moment. All the while he’s waiting on me to take an active role in this life he’s given me.

“Now and then I go about pitying myself and all the while my soul is being blown by great winds across the sky.”—Deepak Chopra

Sometimes we are afflicted with paralysis by analysis. We may think we have to have all our ducks in a row to make a move. We think we have to have answers to everything, to make a move. We think we have to have our lives all planned out, all mapped out, to set a course. But we are already on a course since the day we are born. It’s just a question of whether we’ll run out of time before we have courage enough to get on the roller coaster. We might be standing by watching others while we have yet to strap ourselves to the ride. Some of us may be strapped in, but have not given our thumbs up to moving down the track. Some of us are on the track, but we have the brakes on, and have not let go.

Are you one of those people who lift their arms straight up when the roller coaster drops down the vertical run? My daughter does that. It freaks me out. But metaphorically speaking, that is throwing wild abandon into the moment by throwing yourself fully into the moment.

He’s given us our life! Isn’t that amazing enough? Why must we hold God hostage now to our rules? Our fears? Our limitations? I know, they are so comfortable to us. They feel safe. But in reality, because we don’t know the ride’s potential for giving us the ride of our life, we hold back. We are still in the starting gate of the ride.

We must move. Take action. Pick up the phone. Book a flight. Click submit. Drive to that location. Enroll in that program or seminar today. Start your passion now. Take that chance you’ve been holding yourself back from. Step into an unknown. Step into a church. Extend a hand, a hug…be the first, don’t wait on someone else. Take a chance. Be bold. Move beyond the rut, doubt, pity, and on toward great winds.  

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the
Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

Ella Venezia
Copyright © 2012 Ella Venezia. All Rights Reserved.

Image Source: ©All rights reserved by taranoel



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