Clackety, Clackety, Clackety…. Whoosh! (Updated)
When I was a youngster, there was a place that was pure joy to visit – and, although I remember being there with the family, there came a time when we were dropped off and picked up later in the evening to enjoy as only kids can enjoy without parents. Maybe just once or twice, but having the responsibility to enjoy this special place without parents? Priceless!
What was that place? Astroworld! It was across the freeway from the Astrodome – the home of the Houston Astros and the place where AstroTurf found its first home. A safe place, as I remember it, for kids to be kids. I do not remember anybody getting into trouble. There were no cell phones to keep track of each other. Our method of communication was to say that we would meet at a certain place in the park by a certain time. And then we would all way until every person showed up at the meeting place.
And, because this is Houston…just about every ride had A/C vents pouring relief over those in line…Yep. A/C in the out doors! It was heavenly! Maybe this is where I learned how much I love cold! I judge all outdoor theme parks by this standard!
Regardless, you paid your admission price and every ride was free. Even though Astroworld was in our neck of the woods, Six Flags Over Texas was a days drive north of us, between Ft Worth and Dallas and was another favorite spot – although we did not go there as often.
My favorite rides had something to do with speed, high hills, precipitous drops, and high “G” turns. I do not remember all their names, but there was one that was called something like “Runaway Mine Train.” It was designed like an ore car used to transport miners and ore from one end of a mine to another. Never mind that we had no mines like this around us, but it was a pure delight to get into the car – hopefully in the front car. In this favorite spot, you would leave the station and begin to enter the mine. The very first thing you hear is “clackety, clackety, clackety” as the cars are pulled upwards to the top of the hill. You see, for the most part, the thrill of the roller coaster is the unbridled speed that begins as that last “clackety” ends – Whoosh, you head down the hill and into the turns that bring screams and a joy of speed like you can never get on your bicycle.
Gravity never felt so fun!
These names sort of burn into my memory from my time as a kid, and later as an adult – Runaway Mine Train, XLR8, Space Mountain, Cannonball Run, and the list seems endless as I try to remember all the key words that give some the willies to just think about it.
Now. Bring it to the moment you live in right now. Take the theme park out of the picture, take the roller coaster car off the tracks. Instead, put your life into its place. Feel like your life is the roller coaster. Your life is now taking fearless drops into the unknown high “G” turns defying gravity. This will wake you up in the middle of the night just sweating through the challenges that life presents to you in the daytime.
Here’s my thought: We have all been here. Life is a challenge and there seem to be times that everything is out of control. You forget that the tracks you are attached to give you a semblance of order. You forget the limits of the design that God has built into your story gives you hope of successful completion. You fail to realize you do not have to worry about coming off the tracks and flying through the air to certain destruction.
You see, it is Satan’s plan to make sure you focus on the tragedy and uncertainty of life. That becomes bigger than life! We forget the blessings of who we are, and where we are going. Satan wants your life to be thrown suddenly off the top of a hill that you have been climbing and hoping the fall will cause you to flee your relationship with God!
But God knows you are better than the trials of life! His Word speaks to us:
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NKJV)
Note it! “All things”…. The good. The bad. Yes, and even the ugly. There is something to be gained from every thing we face. Every harrowing drop into the valley. Every hard fought climb to the peak. The swift turns. The sounds. The wind. The gravity! Everything.
Consider the man Job. Satan did. He saw a man that was seemingly perfect in God’s eyes.
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. (Job 1:1 NKJV)
Oh what a marvelous life he must have lived. Clackety, Clackety, Clackety – he grows his family and vast holdings. Life is good. Everything is growing and going good. 10 children, 11,000 animals, a large household.
Not only did he “own” a lot, but his character was not even called into question – he was BLAMELESS and UPRIGHT. He Feared God. He rejected evil. He made sacrifices to God in case his sons and daughters had sinned.
When Satan came before God, it was The Lord that asked Satan if he had taken note of His Servant, Job. (Job 1;8) Wait a moment! Did God just set up Job for failure? It seems like the deck is stacked against Job. Satan is allowed to do ANYTHING to Job, except take his life. Can you feel it? Life is about at the top of the tracks. The last Clackety sound is fading and the downward Whoosh is coming. Can you feel the gravity take hold of your life. Where you once were on that really nice upward climb, the bottom starts to drop out from under you.
Look at what happens to Job: The Sabeans, the Fire of God, the Chaldeans and a great wind destroys all he has – except for his wife and the four servants who come to report the tragedies. All in one day! This is one of the worst tragedies recorded in scripture – it happens fast and without warning.
Job is a hero – he’s blameless, upright, rejects evil and he fears God. Even in the face of disaster. He keeps his character.
Bring this home to us and remember how we act when something goes wrong in our life!
Life is often like this roller coaster experience. We leave the station and begin to climb the hill of life. Regardless of how long this growth period is, compare your life to the stock market and realize that every day we face challenges. Some of which can cause us to spin in a seemingly death ordained spiral to low points and we have to Clackety, Clackety, Clackety, climb again to regain.
Remember Paul’s admonition, “…all things…” work together for Good.
What you are going through may seem to be the worst trial ever, but God knows exactly what you are facing. He knows the twists, turns and drops that are coming fast. He also knows when the next Clackety sound will bring joy to your life. It’s time to climb!
And He’s on your side!