When I was a child, our county fair was the highlight of the summer. It was typically the largest event for our rural community, and every kid I knew looked forward to the rides and the cotton candy and the 4-H ribbons.
Lots of farms around here, lots of livestock in competition...
but I was a "town girl" and the only livestock I was familiar with was a parakeet in a cage and a dog in the backyard. I always walked through the 4-H barns, though, because my schoolmates had animals in the competition.
My short-lived 4-H career involved baking cookies and sewing a skirt which I then had to model in a fashion show. I really hated doing that.
I was more comfortable taking part in the
and winning a prize a time or two.
I was never good at winning the games but I enjoyed the rides. I always rode the ferris wheel which looked just like this. I wanted to ride it, but it terrified me. The swinging seats were open and when I was at the top, I never enjoyed the view because I was too afraid that I would slide out underneath the bar if I looked around to see what was behind me.
I do not like heights.
I am not a great risk-taker.
Whether or not sitting on the swinging seat of a ferris wheel is a thrill or a terror for you, there is one thing in common to all. Although you may be able to see for miles from such a height, the fact remains that you are still going in circles.
Until you get off the ferris wheel, you will not move in any direction except around....and around.....and around....and around.
The most terrifying part for me was when I got stuck at the top. The seats would swing back and forth. The people were too small for me to see clearly. The wind blew harder up there, and I was always afraid that the operator would just walk away and leave us up there.
I guess I'm not the best carnival rider, huh?
I was always more comfortable when the wheel kept spinning with no stops. Going around and around was okay...and I really liked the halfway up point the best....high enough to see things and safe enough not to be afraid.
Trouble is, being comfortable is not always the best thing to be. Finding yourself going in spiritual circles is frustrating. Being able to see the possibilities may be exciting when you are stopped at the top of the wheel, but unless you get off of it, you never move forward....
only around and around.
It's lonely if you're in that seat by yourself. Sometimes, it's hard to convince yourself that you will not be left hanging there.
You become convinced that you will never be able to get off the ride because you seem to be dealing with the same difficulties over and over again.
It's been a very long ride and it isn't fun anymore.
But once your feet are on the ground, you can move forward again. You are not left alone without direction. You can look back and see that progress has been made, even if it is small.
You can remember that view from the top and know that
only by walking forward, will you get there.
" Happy are the people whose strength is in You,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a source of springwater;
even the autumn rain will cover it with blessings.
They go from strength to strength;
each appears before God in Zion
(Psalms 84:5-7 HCSBFree)
Christian, you are a pilgrim on this earth. You have things to do and people to share Christ with. Your struggles may seem never-ending but unlike that ferris wheel attendant, God is not going to leave you hanging.
He has promised to complete the work He started in you.
And if you seem to keep going around and around, then pay attention to see if it is your complacency that has put you there or if it is part of the journey that sends you up in order to get perspective.
Either way, when your feet touch the ground, keep them moving forward because,
Beloved, you are only passing through.
"But they now desire a better place — a heavenly one.
Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them."
(Hebrews 11:16 HCSBFree)