She said, “When I got married, I thought it would be like this magical escalator ride to the celestial kingdom.”
And I countered, “But when you felt the track nudging toward the top, it turns out it was just a brief pause before a terrifying plunge, and the next thing you knew you were being hurled downward at break-neck speeds, then whipped around a corner..."
“Exactly,” she said. “I was counting on that escalator ride. I didn’t sign up for a roller-coaster.”
“Yes you did,” I practically interrupted. “We all did. You’ve just forgotten.” She gave me a puzzled look, so I continued, “We knew before we came here it was going to be a wild ride...and we WANTED the e-ticket. We shouted for joy!”
“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?...When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”(Job 38:4,7, italics added)That image of the roller-coaster stayed with me. Can you imagine the shouts of joy if you told your kids you were taking them to Disneyland right now? And if you told them Space Mountain might be a bit scary because it whips you around in the dark, do you think they’d say, “Okay, then, never mind. Let’s just stay here and do crossword puzzles?” No way! They want the whole adventure.
Or you could try and protect them from being frightened by the abominable snowman on the Matterhorn and tell them, “Okay, we’ll go to Disneyland, but I don’t want anybody to get sick or hurt or scared, so you’re only allowed to ride Small World.” Can you imagine how ANNOYING that would be? Even once?
But instead, our heavenly parents bought us an all-ride pass...complete with the lovely parts, the sweet parts, the gentle parts...but also the boring parts, the annoying parts, and, yes, the scary parts. Because they LOVE us.
Our family’s been on one hell of a roller-coaster ride this year. Literally. Sometimes it felt like we were riding straight through hell! And yet, I don’t think I’d trade all the frustrating, heartbreaking and downright terrifying experiences of the past few months if it meant I had to give up — or even dilute — that sublime reunion we had with our son a few weeks ago.
To quote the tagline of a movie my husband produced a few years ago, “Life is worth the scary parts.”
So tell me, have you found your life to be an escalator ride, a long, tiring stair climb, a stationary bicycle, or a roller-coaster? And, if given the chance, would you trade your e-ticket for a smoother ride?