We finished the last day of school with a trip to Lake Compounce yesterday. All the children had a blast, and even little Benny and his buddy finished the day with a ride down the River Rapids. We all got soaked to the skin, but laughed through it all. My husband got to tag along with us and even attempted a few of the crazy rides with my second son, who is fearless when it comes to the scariest, fastest rides. The only one who did not go was my oldest. He is the type that gets sick just driving in the car so he did not even think it would be worth it to go if he could not even ride on the carousel.
I must admit that looking at those rides through the eyes of a parent is extremely different than when I was a teenager. I can recall the time when I went to visit a friend in North Carolina and we took a trip to King's Dominion in Virginia with her, her brother, and one of his friends. Coming from the small state of Vermont, I had never gone on anything more than a ferris wheel or maybe a little roller coaster at the Champlain Valley Fair, but they informed me that we were going to ride all of the biggest, scariest rides the park had to offer. I did not want to, but the old peer pressure thing came up, and I found myself behing pulled along with them to the Pirate Ship, the first ride inside the gate. This would have been okay, but not only did this Pirate Ship go back and forth, but it also went upside down and hung there for a few seconds before swinging back around again. My heart beat rather fast as I climbed on and got buckled in. I kept informing myself that I could do this until someone in the back felt inclined to yell, "We're all going to die!" and my eyes grew wide and my palms began to sweat. I did not want to die while riding some crazy ride! I could imagine my parents getting the call about how their daughter had met her doom on the Pirate Ship by being tossed from the boat. Talk about nerve wracking!
Well, obviously I lived to tell about it and once I got over my shaky nervousness, I had a great time with all the rest of the rides. I even had fun on the standup roller coaster that went upside down too. We went home completely wet, just like we did yesterday, but at the end of the day, the water rides were completely worth the journey, even if you do fall off the little sled down the waterslide and land completely dressed in the water. :P
At the park yesterday, my second son took to all the crazy rides with his friends, and even dragged his daddy on a few where he thought it was the end for him. The forces that pull on your body are extremely strong and it felt like his insides were going to rip out of him, he said. No thank you, I said. I was quite content to stand with my feet firmly planted on the ground and watch them get dizzy and sick to their stomach. The roller coaster did look exciting, but I was not willing to stand in line for an hour to take a two minute blast through the woods. It says in Matthew 26:41, "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." I knew my flesh was as weak as it gets and though I felt tempted, I was content to watch and pray for those who did end up taking those rides.
My views of these rides have changed since those teenage years, and I spent quite a bit of time watching and praying that the chains holding my children would continue to work properly and not choose to break down with my family on there. I found myself hoping that the master builders, who constructed each ride, knew what they were doing and their product would not fail them now. The only chains that I want to let loose on my children are the chains of sin that bind them; that separate the unsaved ones from our Savior. I am glad to say I know the Master Builder of this earth; the Creator of my body; the best Illustrator Who painted such beautiful colors in nature for us. I can rest assured that all that His hands have constructed and put together will never fail. I know He loves me and gave me the greatest gift of all- His Son, Jesus Christ. My God will never fail.