ucc logo
dcc logo Historic Gladden Chapel, view from Bridge Street
line decor
line decor



Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

June 26, 2009

Stranded on a Roller Coaster

As Rev. Tussing enjoys some vacation time away, I have the privilege of writing this week’s e-gram.  Allow me to share something that happened to me recently on MY vacation.

A couple of weeks ago, I went with my family on a day trip to Cedar Point.   I have to explain – I have never considered myself to be an overly “adventurous” person – I don’t scuba dive or bungee jump or sky dive. I am generally pretty cautious. But, when I go to amusement parks, I do like to ride the big roller coasters.

My favorite roller coaster at Cedar Point is called Raptor.  It is one of those coasters where your feet “dangle” and the track is filled with spirals and loops and you go about 70 mph.  Why do I like it?  I’m not sure.  I guess it sort of represents a chance to live with “reckless abandon” – while safely strapped in.

Anyway, I was at Cedar Point, riding the Raptor, and then it happened – something that has never happened to me before. Just as the coaster was about to pull into the station at the end of the ride, it stopped…and we waited…and we waited…and nothing happened. We were stranded!

OK, no big deal.  We weren’t that far off the ground (did I mention I’m mildly afraid of heights?). Surely it wouldn’t take long to “fix” the problem.  But as the minutes started to pass, suddenly I began feeling extremely claustrophobic.  The seats on the Raptor have those shoulder harness things that come down from over your head and “lock” you into the seat – great when you’re flying through the air – not so great when all you want to do is to get OUT!  I started taking deep breaths and trying not to panic.  Thankfully, within a few minutes we were released from the shoulder harnesses and helped down off the ride.  I was very relieved to be freed!

Later, when I told a friend that I had been stranded on a roller coaster, he jokingly replied that “stranded on a roller coaster” sounded like a metaphor for life.  It was a joke – but it also rang true for me.  How often have we heard someone describe a situation they are going through as a “roller coaster” of emotions?  We all experience those ups and downs.  That’s a pretty accurate description of life. But being stranded on a roller coaster also taught me something else about myself.  It made me realize how much I want control.  I was fine when I was getting ON the Raptor because I was in control – I could get on or not – it was up to me.  But as soon as I knew that getting OFF the coaster was in someone else’s hands, THAT is when I panicked.

I think “letting go” is often one of the hardest things we do in life.  We want to control things, don’t we?! Sometimes, though, we need to just relax and trust…

Even when stranded on a roller coaster.

Shalom, Pastor Lisa Bowersock

Current Year E-Grams
Archived E-Grams