Roller Coaster Worship

Kings Island Droptower
I should tell you…I’m scared of heights and really really scared of roller coasters.  In fact,  I hold on to the rail on the escalator because it makes me uncomfortable to be going up and not holding on to something.  I get this weird weak-kneed light-headed feeling.

But on Monday I went to King’s Island with the youth group…which is a big amusement park in Ohio if you didn’t know.  It’s an unusual thing for someone who’s afraid of heights to go to an “amusement”  park (I don’t think there’s much that is amusing about them), but sometimes you do crazy uncomfortable things to show people that you love them.
The VERY FIRST ride I find myself on at King’s Island is this ride called the Drop Tower.  They strap you in, and then slowly raise you up like 300 feet in the air.  Then they let you sit there, with nothing but a thin plastic seat and a cloth strap separating you from your own death, and then the ride free falls at 60 mph towards the ground, stoping mere feet before it would have crashed into the earth.  It’s the tallest drop tower ride in the WORLD.  Again, you might wonder why am I doing this – and I have to tell you that I was wondering that same thing while I was on the ride.  So I’m sitting there quietly panicking as the ride slowly ascends to the top of the tower, and I’m gripping the hand rails for dear life.  I can feel the muscles in my hands starting to cramp because I’m holding on so tight.   Meanwhile, sitting next to me is Caitlyn, a high school students, who is giggling! She lets go of the hand rail, giggles, and put her hands back on, and giggles, and kicks her dangling feet, and giggles…she is Loving it!
The truth is, if you watch people riding on roller coasters (and I spend much more time watching people riding than actually riding!), the people who are having the most fun are the people who trust the machine, and the engineers that built it, and all of the restraint mechanisms and safety precautions that are there for their safety.  They know they’re safe enough to just let go, to let go of the hand rails, to let their arms wave and to be free…to enjoy the ride (which may be a very novel concept for me, but is a beautiful picture of what I hope happens when people gather to worship).  I hope that the members of our community will be safe and secure enough to just let go.  To let go of what baggage or trust issues they might be gripping in their hearts, and to just be free.  To be free with their hands, with their voices, with their whole selves, and to worship knowing that God is holding on to them securely.

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