I’ve always enjoyed amusement rides. The amusement park nearest my home has a ride called The Beast. When it was built in 1979 it was the tallest, longest, and fastest wooden roller coaster in the world. I have ridden in the front seat and in the back seat, and I’ve found both experiences carry a different set of exhilarations.
Upon reaching the first hill, the front seat glides slowly over the top almost as if hanging in midair until the rest of the cars are pushed past the tipping point, and then it feels as if the cars behind you are pushing you down the tracks. When seated in the rear car and approaching the top, you discover you are being whipped over the summit by the force of the cars falling down the hill in front of you.
Before deciding to ride The Beast, I realized I would be experiencing an amusement ride — one that had been tested for safety, and safely ridden by millions of people. For four minutes and ten seconds I gave myself over to the ride. I settled my body into the car and lowered the safety bar. In less than five minutes the ride ended and I returned to my everyday life.
We sometimes forget that life is like an amusement ride. We are spiritual beings having a roller-coaster ride called life. Our souls are inserted into a human body and we take off up the hill to experience the exhilarating — and often frightening — experiences of our spiritual existence. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. It will end much too soon, and we might wish we had the chance to ride again.
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