Back in high school, my brother promised to take me to the local amusement park called Worlds of Fun. I think it was supposed to be for my 17th birthday. Well, this summer, nearly ten years later, we’re finally going to do it. I can feel it now—the blinding wind and the taste of my heart in my mouth as we take in the initial drop of the "Mamba." Two grown men, enjoying a whole world—even multiple worlds—of fun.
All this raises an interesting question of human behavior: why do we like roller coasters? I have the idea that, strangely enough, we like them because they are too much for us and because that too-much-for-us-ness forces us to a place of surrender. The fear and the thrill are so intense that the only way to survive is to let go. That’s why we instinctively close our eyes. It’s not the eye-closing of a man who is savoring a medium-rare fillet; it is the eye-closing of a terrified man who is giving in because he is incapable of maintaining control. And it’s exactly that type of “giving in” that we like. So, we strap in and intentionally lose it. We shut our eyes, shoot up a prayer, and whisper, “Well, here it goes.” And that is the whole point.
I recently had a similar, though slightly more spiritual, experience in Colombia, where I went to teach at a Bible school for a couple of weeks. The trip was out of my comfort zone in several ways. I had never taught such a long class, I had never taught a class like that alone, and I had never taught in Spanish. So, I was nervous and a bit overwhelmed.
But there’s something wonderful about that kind of situation. When something is too much to handle, we are forced to let go and trust the Lord to do his work through us. This is the pattern of so many examples in history. Abraham when he went to a new land, Moses when he led the people out of Egypt, Gideon when he defended Israel against the Amalekites, even Mary when she became pregnant with our Lord. Though the tasks were beyond their abilities, their response was to step forward and say, “Well, here it goes.”
It’s called faith.
Maybe we are too comfortable. I don’t mean that we should do things we are just bad at. But I do mean that we should step forward and do the things the Lord wants us to do, according to His clear will in Scripture and according to the giftings He has given us. That may mean making a phone call you’re afraid to make, confessing a sin you’re embarrassed to confess, sharing the gospel with a neighbor, or even just telling your wife that you love her.
There are a myriad of things the Lord is calling us to do as a body and a myriad more he is calling you to do as an individual. And most of them are uncomfortable. But that’s why I began by discussing roller coasters. You see, as we take on these uncomfortable things, God wants us to trust Him, to let go, because it’s His work, not ours. He’ll see us through if we’ll just step up and say, “Well, here it goes.”