As a teenager, I made an effort to visit an amusement park at least once each summer to ride the latest and greatest roller coaster. I waited in lengthy lines over and over again to experience the wild rides. Now that I am older, roller coasters don’t hold the same thrill for me. Maybe as an adult there are enough ups and downs and unexpected turns in life that I don’t need that kind of additional adventure.
The older I get the more I realize that I’m a passenger on the roller coaster of life. The ride doesn’t stop just because I have a class to teach or a ministry to lead. Have you noticed the biggest dips seem to come at the most inconvenient moments? They can keep you from serving at your best.
How can you face these moments more elegantly?
1. Keep your FOCUS on Him
Remember that even in the ups and downs God is right next to you, aware of exactly what you are going through. In fact, He is not only our constant companion, He goes before us. He is intimately aware of your circumstances and the butterflies the ride can generate.
Be mindful that the enemy desperately wants to distract you. Revel in your ineffectiveness. Delight in your pain and struggle. There is a spiritual battle going on. If the ride of life can capture your attention, you may forget that you are in a powerful position to influence young lives for Jesus.
Without daily time with God the roller coaster ride of life will get the best of you. Seeking Him first connects you to His perspective. Matthew 6:32b-34 says:
Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. (Emphasis added)
2. Turn your FEARS over to Him
To be honest, part of the reason roller coasters appeal to me less than they used to is because I am more aware of all that can go wrong. Yes, I’m a little more fearful! Maybe I just have more at stake.
In the same way, the roller coaster of life can be frightening at times. Some of the fears are understandable. Some are irrational and founded in lies.
As a teacher, fear can keep you from being silly or playful in ways that would allow build a better rapport with kids. After all, you certainly wouldn’t want your helper or a passing parent to think less of you.
Fear may also keep you from utilizing your helper well or communicating any challenges you have experienced with a child to his or her parents.
Fear may even keep you from investing the time in your lesson that it really needs.
As a ministry leader, you might avoid dealing with sticky situations or taking on new challenges. You may hesitate to share how much you need support from the other staff members.
Turn your fears over to God. Let Him speak truth over you so that you can serve boldly. Consider what Proverbs 29:25 says:
The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that. (MSG)
3. Trust Him & LET GO!
You can tell when someone is truly enjoying their roller coaster ride: their hands are held up high with abandon. Meanwhile, the person sitting next to them is clutching the safety bar and wearing a look of terror even though they are both on the same ride!
In the same way, when you know God, understand how deeply He loves you, and have confidence in Him, it changes how you experience the ride. You can let go because you trust Him and fully embrace your role as a teacher or ministry leader with abandon.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Feeling the thrill of life’s wild ride? What changes do you need to make to survive the ups and downs with grace so that you can teach, lead, or serve more effectively?
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Krisdog