I’m not much a thrill-seeker when it comes to amusement parks. You won’t find me standing in line for hours to be dropped at 400 mph 400 feet! I won’t be buying fast-passes to ride the reverse loop-da-loop coasters that make you lose more than your lunch! No, I am happy to sit on the park benches, occasionally venture onto the thrill-less rides.
Despite my dislike for amusement park rides, life lately has felt a lot like a walk through the emotional amusement park, Emotion Land. I find myself riding the Emotion Express far too often, being whipped around and turned upside down and backwards in my thinking. From there, I am fast tracked to the Tower of Fear where I soar to the height of heights and then plummet at break-neck speed, to the low of lows. Then, just when I think I am in line for a quiet, peaceful cup of tea, I realize that I’m on the Spinning Tea Cup Ride. Round and round I go with circular thinking and logic bringing a dizzy confusion to the already whirlwind experiences of the day.
Finally, “It’s a Small World After All” begins playing over the loud-speaker and I realize that I’m not alone. Hundreds of others are there with me, exhausted, aching feet, spinning minds, some in full melt-down mode. Everyone desperate to leave but running from one draining ride to another, hoping it will bring some rest to their confusing lives. All of us starting to realize that Emotion Land is not the magical place we thought it would be.
Suddenly though, I look overhead. There, soaring above, is a Winged Monorail, with Isaiah 40:31 painted on its sides.
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
In it sit a handful of people, peacefully content. Their eyes, full of hope, not fixed on the chaos below but fixed on a view beyond. I look with longing at this sight….oh to go from sore feet and feelings to soaring on wings of eagles! Breaking through the distracting din of the park, comes the still small voice of the Great Conductor sitting triumphantly at the helm of the monorail (Matthew 11:28)
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest...
I look up and see him climbing out from the helm and coming down to the exhausted crowds. With nail-scarred hands he beckons to the tired stragglers like me, to come, wait on Him, with the promise that they too will be able to “soar with wings as eagles, walk and not grow weary, and run and not faint.”
Wearily, I fall at his feet, exhausted from the hours I’ve spent in Emotion Land. He gently picks me up, places me in a seat aboard the Winged Monorail. Suddenly, as my altitude changes, so does my attitude. Gone are the distractions, the chaos, the noise, the exhausting pace, the distractions. In the distance the mayhem of Emotion Land grows smaller and smaller as the view before me opens up. I think to myself,
"Why did I not look up sooner and see this Winged Monorail? Why did I spend so much time going from one ride to the next, hoping for relief but only finding more exhaustion?”
I can still see in the faint distance people like ants scurrying from one ride to the next, just like I had been, never stopping to hear the still small voice of the conductor or see the hope that is soaring above them. Then, a new view comes into focus and a new perspective begins to govern my thinking. Rather than being trodden down by my emotions, I am soaring above them with new strength. A renewed sense of hope washes over me; my weary feet finding rest, my weary soul finding peace.
Hope restored, Emotion Land becomes a new experience as I soar on wings, heavenward.
Photo credit https://www.puzzlemobi.com/puzzle.php?image=summer/images/puzzle/amusement-park-rides.jpg#.YKo1lahKg2y