When I was eight years old, I went to Six Flaggs Theme Park in Illinois with a friend of mine and her dad. Back then, this Six Flaggs’ held the largest wooden rollercoaster in American called The Great American Eagle. It had broken world
records for being the tallest and fastest coaster. It also had the largest drop, and of course, we were determined to ride on it. As I peered up at the wooden tracks that towered higher than any building I’d ever seen and listened to the rattling of the cars and the terrified screams of the riders, a sense of unease prickled its fingers up my back. My friend looked at me and said, “You want to go, right?” I looked over at her father and figured there was no way he was going to let a pair of girls, who barely met the height requirements, go on this monstrosity, so I replied, “Of course!”
Next thing I knew, I was led through a labyrinth of zigs and zags and was ushered into a seat in an open car. I thought my friend and I were in this together, so I slid over for her to sit beside me. However, there was three of us, so she scooted into the car behind me next to her dad. That left me to ride with a complete stranger. Back then, I was extremely shy. Not only was I petrified of the potential agonizing death that loomed ahead of me, but I was also panicked by the unknown young man buckling his belt beside me. He asked if I’d ever ridden the Eagle before. I remember I couldn’t even form words, so I shook my head.
Then, the car began to roll forward, clicking at a steady pace as we moved up the steep incline at an agonizingly slow pace. My fingers clutched the cold steel of the lap bar in a death grip that turned my knuckles white, and as we crested the top I prayed, “God, please help!”
I don’t remember breathing the entire ride. The stranger raised his hands above his head and screamed his lungs out. I prayed for it to end. When the car finally came to a stop, the stranger smiled at me and said, “You did well for your first time.”
I wanted to laugh, but if I did I probably would have started crying. I didn’t respond just pried my frozen hands from the lap bar and stepped off the ride on legs that wobbled.
How many of us wait until the lap bar is lowered and we’re cresting the hill of life’s roller coaster to then cry out to God for help? What if we learned to pray while we stood in line or before we even got to the park?
“What is God telling you about it?” This is a question I’ve been asked when telling my husband or others about a problem. This question is perfect because it assumes you’ve already taken it to God and have been praying about your issue. If you haven’t (for which, at times, I can be faulted), then it’s a nice nudge to get you back in the right direction. Daniel from the Bible was great at this. Three times a day he bowed down and prayed to God. He knew God was his source of strength. He made certain he was prayed up and filled with God’s wisdom. So when the unexpected happened and he was tossed into a lion’s den, Daniel was prepared and trusting in God’s protection.
Try it. Pray over your day. Set aside some quality time with God and get prayed up. Then sit back and enjoy the ride.
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