Sweaty palms, white knuckles, closed eyes, and silent screams are a more accurate account of that scene for me. What makes the difference?
It is All in a Person’s Perspective
In the past few months, I have found myself riding the Ferris wheel of other people’s emotions and circumstances. Being a mom means I have eleven opportunities (twelve if you count my husband) to ride the ups and downs of each of their days.
How long each ride lasts, or what I experience has always seemed to rest on the person I happen to listen to at the time. Helplessly strapped in, I feel everything from the thrill of joy and excitement, to nausea and turmoil of a ride that has spun out of control.
What Happens When Your Ticket is Punched Too Many Times
One day last week, my ticket had been punched repeatedly and in rapid succession. I saw the heights of a “B” on a test of a struggling student, to the lows of a middle school daughter who was shunned and left to sit alone during lunch. There was the rush of a name found on the posted team roster, and the heartache of rained out first-of-the-season game. By the time I was finally alone, I felt like I was still spinning round and round like a Ferris wheel.
The Answer is Perspective
If the ride is smooth and filled with joy, or rocky and cluttered with tears, my experience can remain the same. There are truths that marry both joy and trial. Yes, we will still feel the emotions, but they won’t alter our overall attitude and hope.
Perspective is defined as, “a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.” Couple this definition with Psalm 16:8 which says,
“I have set the Lord always before me because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”
My Point of View Should Always Be Set On Christ
When riding along with others highs and lows, my point of view should always be set on Christ. I cannot allow myself to get distracted by the sights and sounds of each rotation or the fears that may accompany them. Keeping Christ, front and center, in the scenery of my mind will remind me that He is over all the upward and descending motion of our days. Not a trip around the wheel is missed or lacking in His sovereign control. So, before I hop into that seat, I better acknowledge His planned purpose and precise appointment. “For such a time as this,” should be my cry.
We Never Ride Alone
Psalm 16 also reminds me that I don’t ever ride alone. The verse says that He sits at my right hand. Figuratively speaking, Christ purchased the tickets for every ride I will take with His precious blood. His sacrifice not only brought redemption, but it brought His presence and companionship as well. He saw on the cross that day the places He would travel with me, and it didn’t change His perspective about His sacrifice’s worth or responsibility. With a Friend like that at my side, I can weather every hill and valley seated beside others.
The last line of this verse is an amazing promise. Because of His purpose and presence, I will not be moved. Even on those never-ending rides that make my stomach churn and my heart race, I can feel as if I am standing still. He is my sure-footed and solid ground. When the wheel won’t stop, I can still find a place of stillness within. I truly can weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice, not because of my ability, but because of allowing truth to be my perspective.
I don’t think I will ever acquire a love for rides or heights. The thought will probably continue to bring a racing heart and weak knees. However, navigating the Ferris wheel of life and circumstances can be faced with a peace that passes all understanding and a surety of soul when I have the right perspective.
How do you ride the Ferris wheel of circumstance?
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