I used to love riding roller coasters. The first one I rode was in the 7th grade. It was the giant roller coaster at the State Fair of Texas. I was there with my buddies…and none of us had been on it before. It took us about 30 minutes of watching the cars go round and round and listening to the screams (which were very unnerving to a kid). Finally we decided to ride it. Wow. What a rush! Naturally, we got off and went to get back in line and ride it again. We rode it about 4 times that day.
That was a lot of fun, but what if your life was a roller coaster ride, and you could not get off? You probably know someone close to you whose life is like that. Always drama going on. Lots of screaming. Constant chaos.
On the flip side, have you ever been on a scenic train? They are tranquil. They are calm. They are on a track going at a reasonable pace, but no screaming, no chaos, no drama. Instead of the extreme turns, dips, highs, and lows, the train moves forward in a methodic method with the occupants enjoying the ride and even sharing a cup of coffee.
There is a place for roller coasters, but the place is in the theme parks and fairs, not your everyday life. If your life is a roller coaster ride, how can you get off and get on the scenic train ride?
- First you have to recognize that you are in a vicious circle that won’t end unless you get off and stay off. You have to get off the ride and refuse to get back on. Whatever is causing you to ride the roller coaster, whether it is drugs, alcohol, or mental / emotional disorders, get some help. You may not be able to get off the ride by yourself.
- Book a trip on a scenic train ride and see what a normal life looks like. Being around people that are calm has a calming effect on you. Learn to recognize that abnormal is not normal. Life does not have to be full of chaos and commotion. It can be peaceful, fulfilling, beautiful, and fun.
- Get spiritual help. If you don’t have a relationship with God, your chances of having a ride on the scenic train are slim, and your chances of staying on the scenic train are none. The void in everyone’s heart can only be filled by God. It won’t be filled by things or other people. No amount of money can buy you the peace that comes from knowing God and having a relationship with him.
- Eliminate the things that are chaotic in your life. Bad habits and people who are chronic roller coaster riders need to go. Surround yourself with people who are grounded and calm. Replace bad habits with good ones.
- If money, or lack of it is stressing you out, get on a budget. Pay off your debts, and start saving and investing. Having your finances in order is a key to getting off the roller coaster.
My hope is that your life is not a roller coaster ride, and that if you take a ride it is at the theme park, and not part of your everyday life. My prayer is that if you have no relationship with God, you start there. With that foundation laid, you will have the capability of recognizing the difference between getting a ticket for the roller coaster and getting a ticket for the scenic train. Your choice as to which one you take.