Yesterday the fam and I went to Cedar Point. It’s been a ritual that my mom and I would go every summer since she gets free tickets through her job but we had some extra special guests this time: my high school BFF and her niece. Now when I was a kid I LOVED roller coasters!!! My gramma and I would hit every ride when she took me to the amusement park and those were some of my happiest memories. My mom and I would do the same. But something changed these last few years and the idea of a little cart with a little belt barely strapping you in while zooming 100 mph for several minutes flipping and dipping you 100s of feet in the air, well, it seemed less appealing. Basically I had fallen out of love with roller coasters. I no longer liked being afraid.
There is something in most people that causes them to like fear. That’s why scary movies are popular and the lines at Cedar Point are an hour long wait on a good day. But dealing with fear on a supernatural level has removed the taste of a quick thrill and I was not ashamed in admitting that to myself! However I know how much these times together mean to my mom so I muster up the courage and go along for the ride (literally). A couple of years ago there was a specific ride that God used to speak to me. He talked to me about trusting Him and though I had no control and did not feel secure, trusting the journey I was on allowed me to enjoy it more. Well I was looking forward to that ride but what I found once we road it was that it no longer posed the challenge it once had. I had “conquered” the ride. Because I had mentally found a way to cope with the momentary thrill and fear while riding it it no longer posed a threat. I was both happy and dissapointed with this realization. But then something new happened. Instead of hitting all of our “normal” rides my mom wanted to try a different, scarier ride. I was so caught off guard by the routine being broken that it took me a minute to compose myself. I looked up at this huge machine that was going literally faster than any coaster I’ve ever been on and knew one thing was certain: I did not want to ride this ride!!! But the group wanted to ride this ride and these 10-year-old girls were in line to ride this ride so how could I seriously back out?! So I practiced what I learned by riding the easier rides and focused on controlling my thoughts. Instead of dwelling on the speed, screams of the riders, and every intimidating factor about this ride I told myself it was “no big deal”. I said “It will be over in seconds.” I counted the number of times it completed a cycle and said “I just have to loop 4 times”. I basically practiced mind over matter. And you know what? It worked. At every “scary” ride I did this and as a result I actually started having a good time! I was no longer afraid!
Sometimes the very things and situations we are in seem life threatening. We are intimadated or bullied into believing they are greater than they really are, but that is all in our perception. If we believe fear we will be needlessly afraid because fear is only a response to our thoughts.
But if we dismantle the bully, take apart its strengths and focus on its weaknesses we will see how to defeat our enemy. As we practice controlling our thoughts all of a sudden we become stronger and our perception is more accurate. That thing was not here to “take us out” as we originally thought. It was actually here to make us better.
Me and the fam…