What Roller Coasters Have To Do With Everything
If you didn’t know by now, my family and I went to Disney last week. Walt Disney World, actually. Not every Disney theme park in the world. That would be an incredibly difficult feat.
One of the things we did while in Orlando was ride every roller coaster possible in all of the Disney parks. We began with the Rock ‘n Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios. We rode the Everest coaster in Animal Kingdom. In the Magic Kingdom there was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and, of course, Space Mountain. Not wanting to leave any out, Andrew and I even rode the Barnstormer, a coaster for younger kids.
None of this sounds terribly remarkable except for one thing.
I was raised to fear roller coasters.
Every time we saw a roller coaster when I was a kid, my mom recounted how terrible her experience riding a roller coaster was while in high school. Not just once.
Every time we saw one.
My dad just said there was no way he would ride one.
The fear of roller coasters grew year after year until I was terrified at the mere sight of one.
When I was about nineteen some buddies and I took a trip to Atlanta. On Sunday we went to see the Braves and the Mets play. However, we made an important stop on Saturday.
With three friends I couldn’t exactly be the only one who wouldn’t ride the rides. I put my brave face on and first up was not exactly a coaster.
It was the Freefall. Up we went, there was a pause and then we fell to earth in about three seconds.
Next came the Mindbender. It was my first true roller coaster experience. Since I had never rode one, it makes sense that my first one would be a triple looping one.
And I was hooked.
We rode the Great American Scream Machine, but the lines for every other coaster were too long.
Now, I really don’t care, I’m probably going to try any roller coaster I can get on.
So what does that have to do with everything.
We all have fears.
We may fear heights, tunnels or spiders. I confess to two of those three.
We may fear shipping our work for others to see and possibly reject. Perhaps we fear letting people get close enough to know us.
Maybe we fear what letting Jesus have control of our lives would really mean.
What’s the answer?
We need to conquer our fear.
We need to get on the roller coaster and ride.
G. Gordon Liddy went to prison because of his role in the Watergate scandal. He was also a little bit of a nut. One thing, though, is that he wasn’t afraid of anything.
As a boy he was afraid of thunderstorms. What did he do? He tied himself into a tree during a thunderstorm.
He was afraid of wharf rats. He shot one, skinned it, roasted it and ate it.
He conquered his fear of thunderstorms and wharf rats.
These are extreme examples, but they serve their purpose.
We need to find out what we fear and conquer it.
Find out what your roller coaster is. It may not be too hard. Get on it and ride.
What are you afraid of? What will you do to conquer your fear?