I’ve always enjoyed riding roller coasters. While I was growing up, anytime we went to an amusement park, I always wanted to ride the biggest coasters.
A couple of weeks ago, while vacationing in Florida, I rode “Space Mountain.” This wasn’t my first time to ride it...I think we rode it in 2008 when we were there and I rode it when we visited the park many moons ago when I was growing up.
As I said, it wasn’t my first time to ride it...but it will likely be my last! Probably not just this particular roller coaster attraction but any big roller coaster. When I got off the ride, I felt like I’d been to an inexperienced chiropractor who had used me to “practice” manipulation!
I told Rachel (neither Monica nor Jamie had the desire to ride), as we were exiting, that this was probably my last big roller coaster ride. The picture that was taken on the ride showed how much “fun” I was having (Rachel had a big smile, I was holding on for all I was worth).
When I was younger, roller coasters were a thrilling and enjoyable experience. Now, I guess they are just an experience I want to get through. Before, I wanted to ride them; now, I ride them only because my oldest daughter wanted to ride.
It’s kind of funny if you think about it: something that used to thrill me and that I really enjoyed no longer has the same type of attraction to me. Once I got back on solid ground, the ground wasn’t so solid: it felt like the ground was moving for a couple of hours.
That is the same way some sins work. We are convinced that they are “not so bad” by the society we live in. We are told, “You’re young, you need to ‘sow your wild oats!’”
But then, as we get older, we realize that those “oats” that were sowed ultimately have to be harvested. And when that happens, it will be far worse than a mild case of motion sickness that goes away in a couple of hours.
I was always taught to consider how my present actions would shape my future. Our present does shape our future. So don’t do anything today that you will regret tomorrow or that you will regret for eternity!
Have you ever noticed how time is a variable absolute? What I mean is that time is a constant. For example, we know that every minute contains 60 seconds and every hour contains 60 minutes and that every day contains 24 hours. It is an absolute.
But some minutes, hours, and days seem to go by faster than others. For example, if you are waiting in the dentist’s office, a 10 minute wait can feel like 30 minutes (or longer)...because you are (probably) dreading the experience.
On the other hand, when you are excited about what you are waiting for, that 10 minute wait can seem like only a minute or two. The anticipation tends to make time fly.
The same is true in activities we attend. When you go to something you really enjoy (say a movie or sporting event), you sit and watch for say, three hours or more (say, for a football game), and you can’t believe how fast time passed. You sat and watched; you stood and cheered; you yelled at the officials...and then it was over and the game had “only just started.”
You made sure you had everything you needed (snacks, etc.) prior to the start of the game. You took care of “personal needs” before the game began so that you didn’t miss a play.
Why do we not consider our worship services and Bible classes worthy of that same “pre-game preparation”?
I’ve seen some folks who “have to leave” at roughly the exact same time in every service. I’ve seen others who, if the service happens to last even a few minutes over an hour, get up and leave once they have been there for one hour.
Yet these same folks, when you talk to them during the week will say, “I was going to come back on Sunday night, but the football game (or whatever) went into overtime and I had to watch it.”
I do get it...church services are not nearly as “entertaining” as (insert whatever you like here). But is entertainment what church services are about?
I can remember watching sporting events where one of the “players” had to leave in the middle of the game for “personal reasons,” only to return after a few minutes. And I can remember people being upset because they felt that the player obviously “wasn’t prepared” for the game.
When we worship, God is our audience. When we “have” to leave early (for whatever “reason”) how does He feel?
Well, we survived our family vacation! It was a lot of fun, though when we pulled into our driveway Monday evening all four of us were exhausted.
But for the five days that we were guests at Walt Disney World it was wonderful (the two days driving there and two days driving home were the exhausting part).
If you ever visit Walt Disney World, I would recommend that you stay in one of their resorts...it may cost a little more than other area hotels (or it may not, I don’t know for sure), but it is worth every cent.
First, you can take the “Disney Transportation Service” to whatever park you are visiting that day. This means no figuring out how to get to the park, no paying for parking and no hunting for a parking space and being dropped off in fairly close proximity to the entrance.
Then there is the dining. If you purchase one of their dining plans (and if you go, I recommend you do), you need not carry any cash with you for food...your “magic band” does everything. You can walk into any restaurant in Disney World and they simply scan your band and your food is “free” (well, you already paid for it ahead of time).
And the “magic bands” also work for shopping. They are tied to your room, which is tied to whatever credit/debit card you give them and, again, no cash is needed. Just scan your band and instantly whatever you want to buy is yours!
But, as the cliché says, “All good things must come to an end.” And when your vacation ends, they are nice enough to email you all of your charges so you don’t have to stop at the lobby to check out.
Then you find out the real cost of what you “had to have.” Hopefully you are not driving when you open the email and see what you actually spent.
That’s a lot like life...you go along and are somewhat unaware of the “tab” you are building up. Then, when “the end” comes, you find out how much your life and the choices you made “really” cost you.
The good news is that you can make the choice to allow the blood of Jesus to pay for all of the bad choices (no matter how much “fun” they were) that you make.
The bad news is that if you fail to choose to allow the blood of Jesus to pay, then you will pay, with your soul for all eternity, for all your choices.