Somehow my son and I had chosen the wrong line. We had chosen the line for “single” riders to go in the front car. This was not good. He was about 8, so I wasn’t planning on going on this Monster Coaster without him. But, despite my plans, here we were. We were each going alone. I will never forget getting to the top of that steep incline, in the front of the highest coaster I had ever been on, not being able to even see the track in front of me, the drop was that drastic. I glanced out over the beautiful scene spread out below me for a second and then…off I went on one of the wildest amusement park rides of my memory.
I have felt a little like life is like this. We get a split-second to enjoy the blessings…and then we are off on another wild ride. Sometimes when the ride is over, the scenery is the same. Most often, though, it is not. While on the ride, someone we love is gone from our life or we have had to move to a different town or change jobs. And sometimes the ride is actually a good thing…a new baby or a wedding. But one way or another, we usually do not return to the same life we started in.
And sometimes…we get on rides we just didn’t want to go on. We kick and scream…but there we are…locked into that rollercoaster car, high above everything, with no path of escape.
For some reason, this week I have been thinking about the Jews during the Holocaust who were taken away in the train cars. Many of them were quite cultured and very wealthy. And, when very gradually, they realized they were the target of a madman, it was too late for many of them to leave Germany. And, all of a sudden, many of them were thrown onto a roller coaster ride that was their last one.
But, did you notice, no matter how terrible or tragic the ending–a roller coaster ride does end? It does not last forever. You do get off. Sure, sometimes you get right back on…but sometimes you get a breather.
But this is life. We have to face it. We can’t live on last year’s roller coaster. We can’t waste time dreaming about future roller coasters. We need to appreciate and grow from the roller coaster we are on now. Right now. At this moment. Because you all are on some sort of ride. Maybe it is a milder ride…maybe it is wild and crazy. But at the end of whatever ride you are on…your children will be older, you will be a little bit (or a lot) different, and the scenery will have shifted just a bit.
Let’s all hang on and try to enjoy it as best we can!