Friday, December 23, 2016

The Coming Roller Coaster Ride of 2017

I always thought it was strange how I see the year’s calendar in my mind. It resembles a roller coaster. This time of year is that part of the ride when the roller coaster car is slowly ticking its way up through the last few days of December to the apex of the calendar on December 31. On January 1 the ride tilts forward to begin its downhill journey racing through the last remnants of winter into the new life of spring flattening out through the lazy days of summer to ride the last of summer’s momentum through Labor Day then back up again into the climbing traction of fall for the ride back up to where we are today.

One day, I explained that mental image to my daughter, Anna. She informed me she sees her calendar in the same. It must run in the family.

I shared the image of my roller coaster/calendar ride, not just to let you know how I think, but to encourage you. Some of you feel like you are not going anywhere. You wake up each day trying to make things happen when God wants you to sit back and actually enjoy the ride. You have been so programmed by culture to produce and “do something for God” that you fail to realize you are actually being carried somewhere. You are not the carrier. You are the rider.

What if, as the ride of your calendar clicks to the top of this year, you simply made no plans for 2017? What if you made the choice to enjoy the ride and sat back and screamed with child-like joy as you raced through the coming year? Like an amusement park ride our spiritual ride has a few sections where we might become fearful, but then the next turn is filled with joy. That is the nature of the ride of life. God did not design the tracks of your ride to take you to death or injury. He laid the tracks and built the ride with your peace and well being in mind. He also built the tracks to create joy in your heart so you could ride through anything that comes your way.

When the final seconds of 2016 tick off and my roller coaster calendar tips forward to start my journey into the depths of 2017, I plan on throwing my hands up in the air and let joy have its way! Shouts of joy and a posture of worship have the ability to clear the tracks of your life of any obstructions that would have kept you from enjoying the ride God has planned for your life in 2017.

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