Smith Silliness

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Carnival Rides and Biblical Truth

on August 13, 2017

A couple of weeks ago we made our annual trek to the county fair.  It was lots of fun, as always, but this year was a little different because this year all five kids were tall enough to ride rides!!  I have reached the life stage where rides that spin you in a circle, especially when you’re already riding in a circle, make me hurl.  Therefore, Brandon took the kids on any spinning rides.  One of the last rides everyone went on, while I held all the stuff, was the spinning bears.  My husband and all five kids managed to squeeze into a single bear and got settled.  The ride creaked to life and they began their circular trip.  These bears have a steering wheel in the middle that allows you to control how fast or slow your personal bear spins while the whole ride rotates.  My husband is one of those people who feels that you should spin your bear as fast as humanly possible, which is why I refuse to ride with him.  The kids were laughing and seemed to be enjoying themselves, and when I met them at the exit they were chattering about how much fun it was.  Everyone except Katie.  She looked a little pale and wobbly.  As we stood in line for the next ride Brandon told me what had happened.

Everyone had been enjoying spinning in wild circles, but Brandon noticed that Katie started looking green.  He immediately stopped twisting the puke inducing wheel and firmly told her to look at him.  He told her to focus on his eyes and not the swirling landscape around her.  He would be her stable landmark; the calm in the storm.  She did it, she kept her eyes glued to his, and as the ride wound down she was able to calm her stomach and avoid throwing up all over her family.  She was a little unstable for a few minutes after, but she recovered quickly because her father knew what she needed in that moment.

If Katie had thrown up at the fair it wouldn’t have been the end of the world.  She wouldn’t be the first person to lose their lunch after riding a carnival ride and she certainly wouldn’t have been the last.  But the similarity to one of my favorite Bible stories was so apparent when Brandon told me what happened that I don’t think I’ll ever forget the night Katie didn’t puke at the fair.

Matthew 14:22-32 tells the story of Jesus walking on water.  He had sent the disciples on ahead, crossing the lake in a boat.  It was stormy and Jesus decided to join them, and since they were already a ways away, He walked on the water to get to them.  The disciples, who were somehow still not used to Jesus performing miracles, freaked out when they saw Him walking toward them.

“But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage!  It is I.  Don’t be afraid.’

‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’

‘Come,’ he said.

Then Peter got down out the the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him, ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?”

And when they climbed into  the boat, the wind died down.” (Matthew 14:27-32)

I think Katie and Peter were in a similar situation, both of them were scared when they focused on the storm around them.  But when they looked into the eyes of the one who could help them, it made them brave.  When Katie stopped focusing on how the rest of her life in that moment was literally swirling around her, completely out of her control, and instead focused on Brandon’s eyes, her constant in a state of chaos, she was able to regain her footing and pull through.  When Peter, who hopped out of a boat onto a stormy sea, focused on Jesus, he could walk on water!  The storm around him had no effect on him because he was focused on his constant in a state of chaos; Jesus.  But as soon as Peter took his eyes off Jesus and looked instead at the storm, the circumstances, that were surrounding him, he started to sink.  He lost his sense of direction because he was focusing on the wrong thing.  But even when he let his fear get the better of him, Jesus was still there, ready to immediately save him.  Asking why he would doubt when he knew Jesus was right there, but loving him in spite of his fear.

I have a lot of friends walking through terrifying storms right now; I’ve been there too, and I pray that all of us remember to keep our eyes on Jesus.  Let him be our constant that we can cling to in the midst of chaos; and know that He is right there to rescue us, even when we let our fear consume us for a moment.  After all, Jesus is bigger than the storm.

Spinning Bear Pic

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2 responses to “Carnival Rides and Biblical Truth

  1. Sandy S says:

    This is so true, it is difficult in the middle of the storm to stay focused. I seem to turn back to my own abilities rather than staying focused on Him. This is a great reminder to keep my eyes on the marK.

  2. Rose says:

    Such great truth! Thanks for sharing Mandy!

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