My son Ransom wanted to to go Legoland for his 8th birthday. He had saved up his toothfairy money for spending cash and stashed some coupon he found (that wound up being expired) so that he and I could enjoy a day together full of fun and adventure.
You should know that while I love theme parks, I absolutely hate roller coasters. Scared to death of ’em. So when Ransom wanted to go on what looked like your basic swing and spin, I obliged somewhat begrudgingly.
Putting my hair up in a pony tail, I strapped in. We smiled and chit chatted while we sat on the lego-shaped horse figurines and talked about what we would ride next. It didn’t seem like the ride was any big deal.
Well muthertrucker. (Sorry, y’all. That was the tame version…)
That !?$&@ ride went left to right while continuously spinning and Ransom went from smiling to frightened. Higher and higher it swung while Ransom began to ask me if we could get off or make them stop. Once the ride truly began it’s highest velocity, the swing was so high that both Ransom and I were white. “Make it stop, Mommy,” my pale-lipped boy begged, and I told him all we could do was hang on.
I knew what Ransom couldn’t recognize at that moment of total fear.
It can’t last forever.
The ride will be over.
Hopefully sooner rather than later.
I knew there was nothing I could do to make it stop and I knew that all the screaming and terrorized crying in the world wouldn’t make a bit of difference. The ride is meant to last for a set and predetermined time so I might as well deal. I knew that my little boy and I were strapped in and (most likely) safe so I just had to hang on and speak rationality over my fear. I hated the entire ride but I knew it would soon be over.
Finally it began to slow. Ransom was as white as a ghost and his usually happy-go-lucky demeanor was completely gone. This would take a few minutes to recover from for sure.
Wobbly kneed, we returned gratefully to solid ground. But the life lesson learned is very applicable if you’ll allow me to draw some conclusions.
Life can sometimes be like that ride. Something that looks fun takes a wrong turn. Has some unexpected bumps. Maybe some outright terrorizing moments. Days. Weeks. Maybe even some grief filled months or years. The kind that take the smiles off our faces and the color from our lips.
Just hang on. It can’t last forever. The wild swinging and turning has a predetermined time and in most cases you can’t do anything to make it stop. It will end though. You’ll eventually step off wobbly kneed and look around thankful that you made it through. You’ll have the shared memories and experiences with those who rode it with you and your bond will be tighter.
You may never chose to ride another roller coaster again…but let’s be honest and realize that most of these rides in life we don’t willingly clamber onto anyways. When we find ourselves on them, let’s remember Who’s in charge, that He has us strapped in securely, and that He never brings us on such a ride for no reason at all.