BIGGER, BETTER, FASTER?
This past week was one of my favorite weeks for a long time as our oldest grandson, Spencer and his parents visited us and he allowed me to come along with him to go on rides at Cedar Point. This was a breakout visit for him as he is almost 7 years old but is a tall 49" for his age, and thus just qualifies for the chance to ride on death defying and stomach churning torture machines that used to be called rides when I was a kid. How hard could this be to have fun and go on rides all day with one of my favorite little people?
Hey grandpa, "Let's go on the demon drop!"... Hey grandpa, "Can we go on the scorpion, it only turns upside down three times?"... Grandpa where's the Magnum, how do we get in that line? Teaching him to avoid the temptation to stand in the demon drop line for an hour because it is the first ride you hit when entering the park and then walking on at 6pm on our way out of the park reminded him that older people sometimes have good ideas. We started with one of the old favorites, the Blue Streak coaster and right away it became one of his favorites. Slowly, we kept working our way thru the park and to rides that described both the terror of the ride and often the condition of my stomach.
Suddenly, we went around a corner and it appeared a ride had malfunctioned as what appeared to be a sled with 16 people strapped into it, exploded forward at a speed that looked like something had to be wrong. The "Dragster" disappeared in a few seconds and suddenly reappeared a half mile away to go straight up into the air 500 feet (my estimate) turn over and come straight down and return to home base. I learned that this ride cost $25 million to build; goes over 130 mph; and takes all of 17 seconds to ride and is designed to scare the bejeebers out of the most stellar riders as well as spectators who watch in fright at the speed of this thing. My assumption about a malfunction that caused this machine to explode at break neck speed was not correct... this is one of several rides that have similar twins around the country in all of our "amusement" parks to keep raising the bar on bigger, better, faster.
You are probably thinking that I was praying that the requirements for riding on this "dragster" were set by engineers that precluded allowing 7 year olds and their grandparents from getting aboard... and you would be RIGHT! By the time all of my grandsons reach the age and height of eligibility, I am even more concerned by what they might build to keep up with the challenges of the day. If they want to ride, I will probably ride with them as it is great for me to spend time with all of them.
What really impressed me while standing in line waiting to go on the 15 or 20 rides we experienced that day is the difference between how God's plan for the world is so satisfying and reaches the depths of our soul, but all of man's inventions require us to keep reaching for more in hopes of finding satisfaction. We know nothing satisfies like Jesus, but after pursuing fun at the end of the day we often find ourselves tired, and wondering if we couldn't find something a little bigger, better, or faster.
These high speed contortions that we find at amusement parks are symbolic of the unquenchable thirst we have for fun, but they are no different than the plight of our general society. The wealthiest nations and businesses in the world are setting records for earnings and extravagance, but expectations next year will always be for more, more, more. When we as individuals achieve great levels of success in our sales goals and practice income, the next year brings expectations of more, more, more.
How different it is when we consider, the Good News for those who claim the Lord as their Savior, "He is our shepherd, and we shall never be wanting for anything". That is, except for the yearning that still creeps into our desires as we walk this earth with our human weaknesses. Keep your focus even as the Magnum flies down the hill! dls
Sent June 18,
Dwight Short if you would like to receive future
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