Designing Your Own Roller Coaster

There’s an attraction in Pigeon Forge called WonderWorks.  If you’ve never been, you’re missing out on a fun and unique activity.  The place has a little bit of everything for everyone in your group, no matter their age or maturity level.  You can climb a rock wall, lie on a bed of nails, make humongous bubbles and, at the time that we went when they first opened, you could even design and ride your own roller coaster in a simulator.

I knew we were in trouble.  Don’t get me wrong; I love roller coasters.  The scarier, the better.  But I had seen Jason play Roller Coaster Tycoon for months, and I knew that nearly every person that got off one of his roller coasters immediately threw up.  His designs were crazy and consisted of continuous loops and flips and corkscrews, never giving the riders a chance to gain their equilibrium before slinging them around again and again.

Knowing his design technique, I urged him to think carefully as he began pushing buttons to create our ride.  I watched in horror as he selected one terrifying aspect after another, and when he was finished, I seriously had second thoughts about joining him in the simulator.  But, I guess I’m not that bright because I joined him and enjoyed (not sure if that’s the right word or not; maybe endured) the most exciting and breathtaking roller coaster I’ve ever been on.  Gladly, neither of us got sick though that’s not to say that I could walk straight once we exited the ride.

There are a lot of things in life we can’t control, but often I think we create our own roller coasters by allowing our emotions to take control.  Yes, life is often bumpy and filled with twists and turns and the occasional corkscrew, but would the ride be so turbulent if we responded to each situation with faith instead of reacted in fear?  Wouldn’t the ride be smoother if we gave control of the problem to God instead of allowing our emotions to run wild?

Lysa Terkeurst is one of my favorite authors, and I believe it was she who once said, “Emotions are indicators, not dictators.”  I love that!  Emotions should indicate that something is not right in our hearts or our spirits, but they should not be allowed to dictate how we respond to situations.  Emotions are a cry for help and attention and should not be allowed free reign in our lives.  The result is disastrous, and much like Jason’s roller coasters, can literally make us sick.

We have no control over what we will face today, but we do control how we face it.  We can respond in fear, allowing our emotions to take over, or we can trust God to meet the need.  Neither ride will be smooth, but I guarantee you that God’s way is better.  After all, He is the master designer, and unlike Jason, His goal is not to see how many people He can make sick!

 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7