A Year of Smiles – Day 302


Adobe Spark (36)

Sweaty palms, racing heart, quick breathing, jittery nerves – nothing can abate the anticipation of reaching the pinnacle of the roller coaster except the thrill of the plunge when you’re flying full speed down the coaster track, gasping for breath, choking on your own heartbeat and shrieking promises to the Almighty that you swear you’ll keep if He’ll only let you live to the end of the ride.

Aren’t roller coasters fun? 😉

Yeah. I used to love riding roller coasters! I used to – past tense. It’s not happenin’ today or any day in the future. Give me a nice little train ride around the mall at Christmastime and I’m good. Seriously.

I feel the same about life, too. If I had my choice, my life would be filled with smooth, level roads to travel. Directional signs would be well lit, easy to read and conveniently placed. There’d be none of those high, rickety bridges, ridiculous detours, unchecked potholes, unfinished roadwork or mislabeled street maps. Period.

My life, however, completely ignores my wishes!

Last week was busy for me (one reason why I’m so far behind on my daily SMILES – ugh!). I was planning and preparing for the church fall festival. I was also preparing myself to say “good-bye” to a ministry position I’ve held for the past four years (another reason I’m behind on my SMILES – 😦 ). The fall festival was my last event and last day at the church. Talk about your roller coaster rides! One minute I’m slowly climbing up a steep incline as I’m mourning the loss of time with “my” kids. The next minute I’m free falling down a 50-foot drop as I’m bustling to create carnival games, recruit volunteers and beg for candy donations. And the next, I’m doing loop-de-loops as I’m running through the fall festival, assuring everything is running smoothly, giving hugs to children, friends, even strangers, trying not to freeze my hiney off in the 40 degree weather and praying that somebody figures out how to use the cotton candy machine.

Whew! What a ride!

This particular ride has been a rough one. I’m following God’s direction to go but I’m not sure where He’s leading. Though I know He knows best, not knowing what’s in store makes the ride pretty scary. And the good-byes are definitely much harder. BUT there is a SMILE in even this crazy roller coaster ride.

You see, no matter where life takes me, whether I’m on the mountaintop where all is well or I’m in the valley where things look bleak and uncertain or I’m spinning round and round in the hallways of life waiting for doors to open, GOD IS THERE. He’s with me on the mountain, in the valley and in the hallway. He led me to each of those places and He’ll continue to lead me on. I may be hanging on for dear life during the ride but God is there hanging on to me. That, my friends, is more then enough reason to SMILE.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.

Psalm 139:7 – 10 (NIV)


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