Tuesday, September 21, 2010

5 Tips For Roller-Coaster Riding

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Having spent 20+ years as a youth pastor, I have ridden more than my share of roller coasters. In fact, there was a time where I went 103 straight rides in the back seat.

(Some people say the front seat is the best, but my theory is that as the front passes over the first hill, it is going slow. The train accelerates as each car crosses the top because of gravity and weight, therefore the last seat in the last car is passing over the hill the fastest.)

Most of us have heard that life is a roller-coaster, and we have to do our best to navigate it, or simply hang on for dear life. If that is true, here are 5 tips for riding the roller-coaster of life:

Get off the roller-coaster - Often, we have a choice. Many of our choices produce results or consequences that can be avoided. Sometimes our choices could have been different. We can avoid some roller-coasters altogether.

Choose where you sit - I already told you of my string of back-seat rides and why I chose to sit there. In the same way, we can choose where we "sit" in life. Where will you get the best perspective? The best control? The best influence?

Choose who you sit with - Sometimes I would bribe a scared 7th grade boy from our group to ride with me. My goal: to help him overcome his fear and experience a thrill. Having someone with us as we navigate life gives us an incredible opportunity to mentor and influence, as they see how we respond to life's dips and climbs.

Watch what you eat - Riding a roller-coaster after eating two corn-dogs, cotton candy, and a coke is not wise. We need to maintain our life's disciplines (diet & exercise, spiritual health, emotional well-being) to effectively navigate the ups & downs and turns of life. Consistency is key.

Enjoy the ride - Some people ride roller-coasters by tightly gripping the safety bar and screwing their eyes shut. Others raise their arms and with wide-open eyes shout whoo-hoo! Life may be a difficult ride, but you can still find some joy in it.

Have a good "roller-coaster" story? Share it below in responses.

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Tracy said...

This post is one of my favorites. Really good word. In the part choose who you sit with. Many times we forget that no matter what we do we have influence on those around us, however we need to be the best influence possible. Psalm 1 helps us do that. Then enjoy the ride- we have to also remember that happiness is a feeling, but JOY, well that is a fruit of Spirit. Though things may be tough we can still have joy.


Brad Lewis said...

Thanks Tracy. Influence is king. We are always influencing. We need to make the most of it.

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