I was in college and interning with a church in Indianapolis and I found myself at King’s Island in Cincinnati, Ohio. If you know me, you know I am terribly afraid of heights and any story from an amusement park can only end one way…badly. The ride, if it must be called a ride, is still there and it is called The Drop Zone.
‘The Drop Zone’ is a ride (I prefer heart attack inducer) that requires everyone to sit in a seat and once in the seat a harness comes over the top of your head to secure your body. Your feet are all the while dangling about trying to find solid ground on which to plant themselves. The ride takes you up 26 stories, or 315 feet, and continuously moves you in a circle so that you don’t miss any of the view surrounding on the way up to purgatory. Once you reach the pinnacle of the ascent the ride pauses long enough for you to see out around the whole amusement park and surrounding Cincinnati suburbs. Following the excruciating long pause the ride plummets rapidly to the ground in a free fall before the brakes kick in the last few feet and you are deposited at the base of the ride.
You may have read the description above and thought what is the big deal, but it was a big deal to me! On the way up, I held on so tightly to the harness that it was as if I had spent an afternoon with Tony Horton working out my arms. Not only this, but it wasn’t that hot outside and I managed to sweat entirely through my shirt on the way up…fear does this. I managed to keep my eyes open for about 30 feet before the reality of what I was about to experience had truly sunk in at which point I closed my eyes and earnestly began to pray. When we reached the peak of the climb I happened to open my eyes. Before I heard the horrible sound of the lock releasing the death trap on its rapid descent I looked around. I was amazed that in the midst of my terror that I could have any peace at all as I looked out over the area.
I haven’t spent a lot of time reflecting on those moments of terror, but as I was preparing for a sermon this pas week, I was reminded to take a moment in the midst of a chaos and look around. I was reminded that sometimes we need to take a step back, look at things from above (or 315 feet in the air) and allow the Holy Spirit to give us perspective. Wherever you find yourself today, I challenge you to take a moment to look out over your life, relationships, job, or anything else and recognize that God wants all things to be in perspective. That if we are not careful we miss his call from Matthew 28 to “Go, and make disciples…” It is difficult to “Go” if we find ourselves gripping the harness too tightly or going through life with our eyes closed.