Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Life: God's Wild Ride

Hi Friends,

This week I've been contemplating life with God and realizing what a wild ride it is. Tears of sorrow over Oreo's death, awe at how God used that time, weariness over all that must be done just to keep things going around here, encouragement from the Dynamic Marriage class Bryan and I are going through, wonder at how God found us two new horses to ease the pain of Oreo's passing, gratefulness for the friends he's brought us, waiting to see what will happen next with my books (I'm at the galley stage now for Shades of Morning, the novel releasing in June, which is the last one that's currently under contract), and questioning what God has for us next.

Every day around here is an adventure! It reminded me of a story I shared some time ago and was thinking about again - a story of a roller coaster ride that reminds me a lot of my life with God. It happened like this:

I stood and looked up at the biggest roller coaster I had ever seen. It was beautiful. It was wonderful. It was terrifying! Three loops, two corkscrews, and a twisting plunge that I was sure would leave my stomach somewhere near Jupiter. A shiver zig-zagged down my spine. The line crept forward in front of me. I hugged myself around my waist and stared up at the red car that now zipped through the first loop. The roar of wheels on metal tracks drown the screams of the riders as the coaster zoomed overhead.

As the car headed for the double corkscrew, my husband Bryan leaned close to me. “You scared?” His whisper tickled my ear.

I grinned up at him. “Yup.”

“It’s been a long time. You sure you’re up to it?”


He laughed. “We’ll see.”

As he turned his back and watched another car scream by, my fingers dug into my arms. I was up to it, wasn’t I? Sure, with long infertility treatments and two pregnancies, it had been years since I’d been on a roller coaster. And even then, I’d never been on one quite like this. But I’d be fine. Right?

Bryan draped his arm over my shoulders as the line brought us nearer to the boarding area. As we drew closer, I began to notice the signs.

Remove earrings and glasses before riding. I removed my earrings and glasses.

We got up to the front. Stay behind line, read another sign. I stayed behind the line.

A green car squealed to a stop in front of us. Butterflies did aerial acrobatics in my stomach. The gate swung open and I climbed into my seat and pulled down the safety harness. Check safety harness. I tugged at the bars to make sure they were secure.

The car jolted forward. Keep arms and hands inside car. I kept my arms and hands inside.

And off we went. Three loops, two corkscrews, and a twisting plunge. And me laughing and yelling at the pure fun of the wildest ride in the park. When we pulled back into the boarding area, my hair stood on end, my eyes streamed with tears, and my mouth stretched into a cheek-splitting smile.

“That was great!” I yelled over the clackety-clack of the car slowing to a stop.

Bryan chuckled. “I thought you were scared.”

“I was.” I pressed a hand to my stomach. “I still am.”

Bryan reached out and ruffled my already-wild hair. “But it’s a good scared, isn’t it?”

I giggled and nodded. It was a good scared. A very good scared. And that’s when I realized that not all fear is bad.

Proverbs 1:7 (NIV) says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” I’d always wondered about that verse, questioning how fear of God could possibly be good. After all, if I were afraid, wouldn’t I want to stay away? How could I love God and yet fear Him?

But as I thought back to the wildest roller coaster I’ve ever ridden, I realized that fear didn’t make me run. It made me careful. I obeyed the rules. I followed the instructions. I checked my safety harness twice. Fear of the roller coaster made me wise, just as the fear of the Lord makes me wise in life.

Like the roller coaster, God is beautiful, wonderful, terrifying. He’s an upside down, three loops, drop and twist, kind of God. Life with Him is full of unexpected turns that sometimes make me laugh, and sometimes make tears stream from my eyes. But whether I’m chugging up a steep hill, zooming down a sharp incline, or hanging on while my world turns upside down, my awe of God, my respect for Him, makes me pay attention to His Word, hang on tight to His promises, and stay behind the lines He draws in Scripture. Only then can I fully enjoy this wild and wondrous ride of life in God.

Even when it makes my hair stand on end.