Personally, I love roller coasters. All kinds; fast ones, upside down ones, all sorts of loop-de-loops. I used to ride every one I could when I attended the fair as a kid. I have taken my kids on many throughout raising them. As I have aged I find that I get slightly more and more nauseous being spun around in circles or going upside down so my days of twisting, roller coasters are more limited than I would prefer.
But I found the last few years I have really started to like the Ferris Wheel. It moves at a moderate speed, allowing you to see everything around you down below. It stops often giving you a chance to chat with your partner in the small car. It is open rather than enclosed allowing you to feel the air on your face. And thinking about this particular ride made me think of what a great metaphor for life this ride is.
This wheel of life we spin on is often huge and complicated. We’ve many spokes jutting out of ourselves. Our relationships, children, families, jobs, friends, responsibilities, etc. These “cars” of our life, if you will, are at times at the top, other moments at the bottom. We have seasons of going faster and feeling life is whirling by. And seasons when everything seems to slow down. Time seems to come to a stop and gives us rest. And we can take a moment to look around. To breathe and re-group. Or see these as moments to re-connect with our car mate.
Riding a roller coaster is exciting and fun. I love the speed and exhilaration of that stomach drop as you go flying up and down and around. But as I get older and too much of life has already flown by, I find I am learning to enjoy the slower pace of a ride that allows me to stop and see the scenery.
I find most of our life is probably somewhere in the middle. Riding along and looking about, moving either up or back down. Having those moments at the top, especially when you are stopped there for a moment and look out enjoying the view, those are the highlights of life. Those are the times you have accomplished something great. You have helped your children, partner, coworkers, etc reach their highlight moments. This is where you can see and feel the joys of life. And as you come back around, heading down, or as you head up, may those moments build you and grow you, preparing you to round the circle again and again.
I find I am enjoying being in the middle of this ride, my car heading back up. Soon to be at the top. I will stop and enjoy the view. Look around, take it in, allow the wind on my face and revel in that space. And be thankful I get to keep on this ride each day. I hope whatever part of the ride you are on right now, you can see the positives of it. I hope you look about and see the work that got you to the top. See the pains and joys and beauty that is this life.
And if you find a Ferris Wheel, I hope you hop on, take a moment, slow down and look around. Enjoy the ride!