I am carried up and down on a ferris wheel. And up and down again.
I dismount for a break, discombobulated.
Still reeling from the rush of the up-and-downs, I stagger down the midway to the merry-go-round where I throw my leg over a friendly plastic horse tossing its mane, decked out in ribbons and bows.
That’s when the round-and-rounds begin.
Slow at first, then faster we go, as the piped-in calliope music approaches the threshold of annoyance. Will this horse respond if I pull back on the reins? I’m feeling dizzy. The up-and-down horses, coupled with the round-and-rounds, are taking a toll. I rub my temples. Throw in some cotton candy and funnel cakes and repetitive carousel music, and I am managing multiple sensory assaults at once.
A juggler nearby tosses apples into the air, and I catch glimpses of him at regular intervals, as the carousel allows. Down and up, down and up they go. Catch it, don’t let it fall. Keep it going, mister! You can do it. I’m holding my breath for you. He smiles and adds another apple to the mix. And another. He picks up the pace of the juggling with each increased challenge. The down-and-up apples don’t stop. And neither does he.
The ferris wheel is emotion. The merry-go-round is circumstance. The juggler is responsibility. They intersect there on the midway – where I am tempted to complain, where I forget the fun I am supposed to be having, where I feel overwhelmed.
But then I remember. Life is for living. On the ferris wheels and the carousels and in the juggling of endless demands, I find God’s blessing, not only in times of stillness, but even in the seasons of great activity.
Ecclesiastes 11:6 says, “Plant your seed in the morning, and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another, or maybe both.”
What a funny little verse! It says, you never know! In the course of each day, you simply don’t know where the profit will come from! Not necessarily the monetary kind. You never know what impact you are making, what purposes are being carried out in the midst of the doing, what people you are meant to meet, what memories you are storing up in both the eventful and uneventful times. And because you don’t know, you’ve just got to plant anyway. Plant, plant, plant. It all matters.
Spring is here, and with it comes a whirlwind that I can either shrink back from or embrace.
I’ve got my ticket in hand. Let’s go.