My daughter was so excited to get to the boardwalk for the first time this year. As she handed the man some tickets for her ride in the amusement park, I couldn’t help but think how ironic it was that she chose the roller coaster first. This past year our lives have felt like we have been strapped into the newest, high-tech version, complete with inverted seats, twists, and loops. It wasn’t the ride we wanted to take. I am sure that many of you have experienced the same with life events (births, deaths, divorce, etc).
Let’s take a look at the anatomy of a coaster: http://www.answers.com states that most roller coasters, like railroad trains, are pushed by electric currents from the tracks to the wheels giving a constant speed or bursts for more thrilling or intense rides. Others are climbed to certain heights on the tracks with an engine-powered belt hooked to the bottom of the carts. Then the carts are released from those heights and are expected to circulated through the whole course.
So what happens when we are riding through life and our ride malfunctions? We get stuck upside down in a loop and can’t seem to finish what we started. Sometimes we feel like we are just left hanging there, suspended upside down, wanting to get off the ride but not knowing how. If you have ever been stuck on a coaster or ferris wheel you know that you must remain calm and seated until the person in control of the ride gets it moving again. As you are hanging there, you may be wondering if you should have gotten on that particular ride to begin with.
Many twists and turns in life are out of our control, however, many are the cause of our own decisions. We may have ignored the still, small voice of the Lord and went our own direction. Many times I hear people say that they really thought that where they were headed was from God. Sometimes it appears that people are in the right park but on the wrong ride.
Do you ask God to help you make the right decision, but before His ultimate Word can get to your ears your own desire gets in the way? We make the answer what we want it to be and what we really want to hear instead of what He is actually saying. Then we sometimes blame Him when things don’t turn out exactly the way we thought they would in our new position, job, marriage, etc.
So what happens when you must make a decision and you are not absolutely sure what God wants you to choose? Here is a checklist that may be of help to you:
1. All decisions should line up with God’s word – I don’t mean taking one verse out of context and making it mean what you want it to convey. You must know the Word and understand how it relates to your situation. If you are still not sure, the second safeguard is…
2. See Godly counsel – Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Seek input from a few people in the body of Christ whom you trust. That doesn’t mean get everybody’s opinion and get so confused that you have no idea which way is up.
3. Fast- James 4:8: 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. When we fast, we are suppose to spend the time we would have been preparing food and eating food to draw closer to Him. Many times, the answer will come during fasting.
4. Prophecy – Let’s not forget reaching out to a prophetic voice in the body of Christ. Ask the Lord to speak some insight through them.
5. Don’t bow to pressure – God’s answers come with peace and assurance in your heart.
In my family’s situation, we did not choose our new found circumstances, but we understand God’s sovereignty and timing. I have this person in my life that serves as a quiet, distant role model. She is not a close friend, but an acquaintance. Her story is one of inspiration and education to me. She rode the roller coaster before me. Her name is Laura Matera. She lost her husband almost two years ago. If you live locally, you probably already know how awesome she is! She has continued to enhance the family business as area director for FCA and is doing a phenomenal job! She is also a great mom (with a counseling degree from Liberty University). She inspires me when I receive her emails. I can imagine it’s been a tough road through her grief and yet she is a forerunner in the Kingdom! Laura, if you see this blog, just know you are leading the way for many women out there who want to please God and fulfill their destiny in Him.
As I was running this morning and thinking about the roller coaster ride and Laura, I remembered this picture posted on social media. Here is the link:
I want to live like the girls in the front row, not the girls in the third and fourth row, don’t you?
3-4 “God has blessed you, blessed you so much.
Strap your sword to your side, warrior! Accept praise! Accept due honor! Ride majestically! Ride triumphantly!
Ride on the side of truth! Ride for the righteous meek!
Let’s ride this life with God at the control panel with our hands in the air expecting Him to do great and mighty things through us and for us.