Monday, January 12, 2009

Life is a Ride

This weekend I did something kinda crazy. Picture a 40-something year old woman flying down giant waterslides, screaming the whole way. Now that’s kinda crazy, don’t you agree? Well that’s what I did this weekend when I stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas. Have you ever been to one of the Great Wolf Lodges around the nation? Well it’s a giant hotel with an indoor waterpark. The reason I was staying at the lodge was for convenience sake. I had several speaking engagements in the general area near the hotel and realized it made sense to stay there, plus I had always wanted to see the place. I also had another bigger reason. My daughter’s boyfriend Adam came in town, and we thought this would be something fun and different for them to do while he was here.

My favorite activity was the lazy river. I just sat in my tube and gently floated along the slow moving flow of water. Ahhhh….I thought to myself. This is the life! Then I began to think, I wish life was like this lazy river, relaxing, no surprises and not real fast. But to be quite honest, life is much more like the giant waterslide with unexpected twists and turns and surprises all along the way, and sometimes they come at you fast!

As we were being wisked down the water slides I realized I had a choice. I could be gripped with fear the entire ride, or I could joyfully embrace the thrill of the unexpected. I chose joy and laughter (but I still screamed the entire way!). I found it exhilarating, freeing and strengthening all at the same time. Yes I felt strengthened because I faced my fears and stepped out of the norm of my life (picture me speaking to a group of adults in a dignified way and then hours later screaming as I went down the water slide).

As we soared down the giant water tubes, I knew I ultimately everything would be okay and we would get to the splash-landing pool eventually. There were lifeguards everywhere, watching and protecting us. In the flow of life’s unexpected journeys we can trust in our Heavenly Father’s love and care for us. We are not promised a “lazy-river” type of life. If we were, we probably wouldn’t lean on the Lord; we lean on the comfort of our own abilities to control and manipulate. Not one of us is immune to the twists and turns which life brings, but we do have a wonderful and gracious God who holds us by the hand. God is not surprise by the turn our life may take, but we can be encouraged by his loving care.

Psalm 37:23, 24 says, “The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will not fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” Let’s choose joy in the unexpected flow of life, and let’s remember God is caring for us all along the way. Now, next time you go to a water park with your kids – you can use this as a teachable moment lesson while you are there.

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