On Roller Coasters and Parachute Drops

When we were courting, Dorothy and I rode a roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas. I had never been anywhere like a Six Flags in my life. She kept mentioning that it was an unusual day because there were no lines for any of the rides. We saw some shows, wandered throughout the little shops, and rode just about any ride whenever we wanted. We stayed that day until the park closed. It was as if the time together at the park was tailored just for us. Later we learned most people stayed home because of the record-breaking July heat (107°).

Dorothy and I rode only one other roller coaster together after we were married. She quit riding after watching people ride the Zingo at Bell’s Amusement Park at the Tulsa Fairgrounds. Dorothy quietly said to me that I could ride as many coasters as I wanted, but she never wanted a newspaper headline to read, “Pastor’s Wife Dies on Roller-Coaster Ride.”

She has not wavered, even when our family, along with Dorothy’s parents, spent another day at that same Six Flags—the day her 80+-year-old father rode both a roller coaster and the parachute drop! My last roller-coaster ride was at Branson’s Silver Dollar City in December 2019. I strained my shoulder on that ride by holding on too tightly. I had forgotten the rule for riding all carnival rides. The secret to an enjoyable ride is to relax, lean forward and trust the operator of the ride. That is hard to do when your brain and all the voices around you are screaming, you are going to die!

2020 has been a current-event roller-coaster ride that just keeps on going, now into 2021.  In fact, there are multiple roller coasters going. Many of us keep trying to get off one ride only to find ourselves on a different ride. I am not alone in thinking I might be going a little frazzled because of it all. We are all on life’s roller coaster running full force for this season. This too shall change. Don’t let the ride scare you away from faith and hope and love. Let your headline read, “Faithful Through It All.”

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Lean forward and trust the Operator. And let’s experience the love and power of God together while apart. 

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