Have you ever been on a tilt-a-whirl? You know the ride ... you sit down, hold on tight and spin around. There is no way to guess which way it will go next or how fast. There are ups, downs and crazy spins.
I rode on this particular ride with my 7 year old over the summer. I hadn't been on one of those in years and he had only ridden once before that day. We both screamed from fear, excitement and the thrill. Anyone who knows me ... you know jumping on a tilt-a-whirl was a huge accomplishment. For some, that may seem silly. Some might enjoy the huge roller coasters. Not me, I am one hundred and ten percent scared to pieces of rides.
I've been thinking ... that ride is a lot like life. There are days filled with excitement, fear and anxiety. Lately, it seems I am having more anxious days then ones filled with excitement. I worry ... about work, home, marriage, kids, parents, family, finances ...
My husband was laid off six months ago. I find myself thinking about how we'll pay the next house payment, electric bill, groceries and the list goes on. How will we afford to heat our home this winter? My boys are growing up in a world so different from my childhood. Some of those differences are good and others are a little scary. There are drugs on the school bus ... my boys don't ride the bus anymore. I won't take the chance. My job has become incredibly stressful. I'm employed as a fraud recovery coordinator in the financial industry. It seems there is a new type of financial crime everyday. Will I be able to keep up with the quickening pace?
All of these "tilts" have made me grumpy. Today, I was sitting at work thinking of just how grumpy I am and how tough things are .... basically feeling sorry for myself, something I've become pretty good at in the past few months.
Then, I heard an update on the young man I blogged about a few weeks ago. If you didn't read that blog (I Heard the News Today), it was about a teenage boy struggling with a disease. The update ... the tumor on his young brain is growing down and wrapping around his spinal cord. He's just a boy.
I slumped back in my chair, hands in my lap. My worries, problems, grumblings ... all of it started to fade.
Tumor, mass, cancer ... I hate those words. Where does cancer come from and how does it decide one being over another? How can you prevent it, how can you survive it?
I sat in my office thinking. This boy's mother, she would gladly trade my troubles. I'm sure she would rather worry about a house payment or electric bill. She would rather sit in my office with my worries than sit in a doctor's office with the results of her son's tests.
I left work feeling heavy, sick. The drive home was filled with thoughts of this boy, this mother. When I walked in my house, I was greeted by my boys. We have this special hug ... the sandwich hug. Each of us is part of the sandwich. The cheese, pickle, bun, meat. I got one of those hugs and suddenly everything just didn't matter.
I guess what I'm saying is ... sure there are troubles right now. Sure, things are scary and you might be worrying about finances. But, look around you. Today, I am thankful for this "tilt-a-whirl". I am remembering a phrase from my childhood ... "count your many blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done."
James 5:13 "Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray."