Thrill rides with God!

Thrill rides at Silver Dollar City, near Branson, MO, recently gave Cindy and me the chance to shake off adulthood, sort of. It was my first time at a true amusement park in almost 50 years. Thrill rides have come a long way in that half-century. So have I. However, I discovered our long ways have gone in opposite directions.

The rides have been designed and redesigned to offer bigger, faster, scarier thrills. I have designed and redesigned myself to move more slowly, methodically, and with a greater calm engineered by 2 senses: heart- and common-.

By happenstance or divine guidance, we progressed from The Giant Barn Swing, a heart-clincher, through ever more chilling rides. When The Powder Keg ride ended, the eight-year-old in the seat behind us cheered, “I want to do that again!” As we exited seats on The Wildfire, a child grabbed his dad’s hand and said, “I won’t ever ride that again!”

The Time TravelerOur final ride, The Time Traveler, was the most intense.  ttttThe. Most. Intense.

The Time Traveler lasts less than two minutes. The total distance is less than a mile. The ride includes speeds up to 50 mph, a 10-story 90% (aka straight down!) drop, and three inversions (aka, upside down!!). When we finished, I heard someone say, “Thank you, God. Once is enough for me!”

I was hearing the voice in my head say that.

Time TravelerI had been spun and plummeted and turned upside down. My backside had lost contact with the seat as I hung by my thighs pressing the safety bar and my hands life-or-death clasping the hand rails. Amazing how many times I’d screamed, “Oh, God!” in less than two minutes.

And one breathless “Thank you, God!” when our car came to its blessed stop.

Why am I telling you all this? To share the fun? The thrills? The honesty of my fear? Yes to all of those. And more.

The several rides produced probably 60 Heart-Stopping Moments (HSMs)! And I’m telling you this to share that for every HSM, I was conscious that I was in God’s hands.

Now, I do not view God as the so-often elderly gentleman in flowing robes. So the “in God’s hands” phrase and image have always given me difficulty. I do not see God in any age or gender human form. Yet every time the coaster car crested a steep rise and I literally felt it fall out from under me, I reassured myself I was in God’s hands. When the ride took curves so tight and so slanted I felt sure we would leave the rails, God’s hands comforted me!

For me, there’s a double message in this. I love feeling God’s Presence in the non-adventure (but joy!) of walking down the street. I cherish knowing God’s embrace on whatever thrill rides life offers.

Thanks for the Thrill Rides

Maker of Thrills and Trust,
the wonder of your Presence–never ceasing
always embracing–sources and strengthens
my adventure, my courage, and my release.
Thank you for the willingness you feed me:
the willingness to face risks,
my willingness to enjoy faith,
and my willingness to let go in trust of You.
Whether the matter at hand is simply of no matter
or an endeavor including endless challenges,
your Presence ensures the ride will be thrilling
and satisfying in its outcome.
Thank you, Spirit, for the beautiful image
of resting in your Hand.
And so it is. Amen.

Love & Blessings,


5 September 2018


Posted on September 5, 2018 at 5:06 am by Tim · Permalink
In: Authenticity, Faith, God, Gratitude, Joy, Prayer, Strength · Tagged with: , , , ,