One of the things I love most about going to amusement parks is watching people.
I like to try to work out group dynamics and I particularly love that little dance that teenage boys and girls do as they walk around the park not knowing whether or not it’s OK to hold hands (or even admit that they want to)
What I love most though, is going on rides like Roaring Rapids (pictured) and trying to get in a boat with some big, tough looking guys.
There is nothing more satisfying to me than seeing some tattooed, scarred, gang members squirming and squealing like little girls when a tidal wave break over the edge of the boat.
Watching them arching their bodies and twisting this way and that in their harness to avoid getting their backsides (and the rest of their bodies) soaked and then starting to hop from foot to foot as they realize that their expensive (probably stolen) sneakers are getting waterlogged as the water fills the bottom of the boat.
There’s no equaliser quite like a situation beyond your control. No knives, no guns, no amount of working out at the gym, no gang membership, nothing is going to help you avoid the wave. In that boat we’re all equals and we all squirm together.
I was thinking about this as we drove back from Magic Mountain yesterday and I saw a great spiritual message in watching those tough guys squirm.
We regularly beg God to work in us and through us.
We say things like “Change my heart Lord” or “Refine me” or “Have your way in me”.
Then, when God send the refining fire, when he walks us through some hardship to develop and grow us, we squirm and fight and hop from foot to foot to avoid it.
As I was thinking about this, it really began to come home to me just how many times I relate to other people my own life experiences in an attempt to convince people that there is a light at the end of the tunnel they are in.
I couldn’t do that if God had not given me those experiences, if he had not led me through some trials and adversity.
While I was there, I squirmed and whined and begged God to get me out but now I realize that he was just changing my heart, refining me in the fire and having His way, just like I asked.
Do you find yourself trying to avoid the very thing that you are asking you are asking God to do?