Chances are everyone reading this has had the exhilarating and petrifying experience of riding a roller coaster. You stand in a long zigzag line then take your seat in a cramped car followed by the click of the safety bar snuggly pinning you in. You hear the instructions to secure loose items and keep your hands inside the car. Then there is the rhythmic clacking sound of the coaster wheels as you slowly accelerate down the track and you realize that the ride is not over till its over. What follows are speeds that go from creeping to turbocharged in seconds, hairpin turns, inverted positions, g forces contorting the skin on your face, shrill screaming and gagging up your cotton candy and hotdog. Somewhere in the world right now there is some fiendish amusement park engineer who is pushing the envelope of design to erect another tubular of terror. By the way, the worlds’ tallest is 456 ft. high and the fastest is 149 miles an hour.
Why do we subject ourselves to these steel behemoths of speed? Maybe it’s because they replicate life in so many ways. I’m not seeking to sensationalize the year before us by using the roller coaster metaphor, but we’ve already taken our seats for the 2012 roller coaster and soon things will ramp up. Be assured this one has the potential of being faster and more tumultuous than previous years. The twist and turns of the past years will pale in comparison to the ones that await us. Expecting the unexpected is the order of the day. The extreme changes in ideology, technology, climatology and sociology will test our theology like never before.
Without question we are in a season of extremes. You can try and “do the math” in a climate where the rules have become arbitrary or you can expect miracles. Adversity elicits trust in God, which in prosperous times would have remained dormant. Ironically it is the combination of faith and doubt that takes us around the unknown curves in life. What you know about Him must become greater than any unknown. It is when I am reeling from life, taking a sudden plummet, that I realize that like the safety bar He is holding me rather than me holding on to Him. Truth is held in the tension of knowing that God is never surprised by what surprises us. The politically obsessed are waiting on elections, the escapist are waiting on an evacuation via the rapture and both have forgotten the Controller of this roller coaster. A friend of mine puts it this way, “God held an election in eternity past and HE voted.” My mantra in the malaise of our times is that of the psalmist, “My expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and salvation: He is my defense; I shall not be moved.” Where have you placed your expectation? You can live in the forebode of the times or make Him your abode and enjoy the ride.