"Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" (Is 40:21 NIV).
I love bumper cars. Whizzing around in circles, bumping into fellow travelers, and listening to circus music is just plain fun.
Life is a lot like a bumper car ride. We zoom around, strap on our agendas, smirk when we get our own way and surround ourselves with the steady beat of busyness.
But life is also a little bit like the TV game show, "Nickelodeon." In the show for children, the contestants' challenge seems quite simple and silly. However, there's always a catch. So, instead of simply navigating my bumper car, the announcer says that this time, we'll wear blindfolds.
Unwilling to give up a challenge, I climb in. The music begins. A buzz overhead builds my excitement. I begin to move. So far, so good. Ooh, a nice little breeze. Gliding along, I don't hear anyone. And then, it starts to happen.
Bam. Whiz. Bang. I am slammed from all sides. I slide across the seat with each push. Laughter fills the air. Okay, this could be fun.
So, I turn my wheel to try to move. I'm stuck.
Ordinarily, I would look around and navigate to get out. But I can't do that because of the blindfold. Buzzing, Buzzing, BUZZING. I frantically turn my wheel and mash the pedal. Nothing.
I'm jolted. Suddenly, I'm free and start to sail.
Wham. I hit a wall. I'm bumped repeatedly from behind. I do not join in the laughter and glee anymore. My neck is sore and I feel exhausted. I regret ever climbing in.
And then, just like that, the ride stops. I remove my blindfold and find myself stuck in a corner, surrounded by a sea of shiny cars. I look up at the ceiling and don't see any sparks. The music is over. The next group is starting to invade the floor. My heart sinks. Aw, it's over already?
This is so much like my life. I wake up in the morning, ready to begin a new day. I expect everything-- I mean every little thing-- to go as planned. When goofy little things like rain falling, traffic snarling or phones ringing begin, I get so discombobulated, so frustrated.
But, bumps are part of the ride. Without them, it would not be an adventure at all. I can choose to stop and become completely frazzled by everyday events, or just keep zooming along the best that I can. If I stop and get in a tizzy, I miss the joy of the ride. If I pretend that the interruptions don't exist, I'll just get stuck.
So when I find myself in a jam again, I'll look up at the sparks and listen for the buzz. No matter what I do, I am connected to the ever-present source of my strength. Just like bumper cars and their dependence upon what is above, my energy comes from God. My job is to rely on his power and go where he leads.
So, come on, why are you waiting? Climb in.
Lisa Hetzel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.