We visited Hershey Park several years ago, and Terry decided that he wanted to ride Storm Runner. The rocket propulsion start and the twists and turns had my heart racing just watching it, but I dutifully lined up with Terry while his parents took the children to a saner area of the park.
Fortunately the lines weren't too long, so I didn't have too much time to back out. I heard other women worrying to their male companions who were dragging them to the "fun" ride as we waited. I knew I wasn't alone. But then I noticed the sign that said the ride was only 34 seconds long, which gave me a slight change in perspective. I went from worried to determined.
I can do anything for 34 seconds. I've had two children -- one without any drugs and the other via painful surgery. A coaster isn't going to best me.I rode it. I didn't die, although I think it tested my heart's maximum beats per minute. I kept my eyes squeezed shut, and I think I screamed the whole ride, out of some combination of fear and exhilaration. It was scary. The scariest thing I've done, probably, but when it was over, I guess I was glad I had done it.
I'm a contented person. I love Jesus. But do I love this world more? I think I definitely hold tightly, but as I'm riding the roller coaster of life -- especially fast and scary of late -- my grip has loosened. I'm ready to get rid of this earthly perspective and to fall fully into the arms of Jesus.
If you struggle, if you worry, if you honestly don't think that you can take it one minute more, I know you can. It might require a change in perspective. I was looking for a version of one of my favorite hymns that expresses this thought "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" and came upon this CD, which I promptly downloaded: Jesus Firm Foundation: Hymns of Worship.
Tenth Avenue North is one of my all-time favorite groups. This song, "Strangers Here," off of The Struggle speaks to a heavenly perspective. The entire CD speaks to the struggle -- the struggle of sin, of helplessness, of pain and heartache.
"Your pain is temporary." If we knew that, and remembered that "someday we'll touch the face of our God and our sorrow will disappear," couldn't we bear it? Could we hold on for the duration of the ride even if we squeeze our eyes shut and scream the whole way?
He's making us a city where there are no fears, and it's drawing near. Until then, we're strangers here.