I had one of those “Aha!” moments the other day when I was invited to ride on someone’s homemade Ferris wheel.
That’s right. Homemade.
Brother Haroldson is an engineer whose hobbies include building Ferris wheels, airplane simulators, and, oh, airplanes. He and his sweet wife live in our ward and he invited us over to ride his Ferris wheel.
I have to admit I was scared. I turned him down, or rather just shrugged off the invite (several times), but he was persistent. I was so scared I couldn’t even pretend to be scared. You know how when you’re scared you can just giggle and pretend it’s scary and no one really knows you’re actually scared? Yeah. I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t even breathe hardly.
He sat down in a lawn chair on the grass with the remote control, which could make the ride go faster and could make the seat you sit in rock. Whit got a “fun” rockin’ fast ride, but I opted (read: begged) for a slow, non-exciting turn.
I started to go backwards.
As my seat rose into the air I stopped breathing. And looking. I couldn’t keep my eyes open even if I wanted to.
(Which I didn’t)
Each time I got to the top and began to come down, I peeked. Then quickly closed my eyes again. I tried not to feel the falling sensation, but it was completely unavoidable and every time I came down it was like falling off that cliff ten years ago again, and again, and again.
On about the fourth time around, actually, I know it was exactly the fourth time around, I was able to open my eyes as I came down.
I began to recognize that the few voices below me had been telling to to open my eyes and see the beautiful scene, but I hadn’t been able to hear them until I went around a few times. And as I looked around, it was amazing. It wasn’t any higher than a freeway bridge, but there was something about being so free in the air with nothing shielding me from the breeze and the smells and the sounds. As I started to come down, I kept my eyes open and I saw Reed Haroldson sitting down there on his lawn chair with the remote control and I had a realization.
This was probably exactly how it was when I fell off the cliff. I was scared but Heavenly Father wasn’t. Like Reed, God was totally in control. I wasn’t going to fall farther or faster than was intended, I was in a kind of divinely-made, invisible Ferris wheel cage. Totally in God’s hands, well, He at least was holding the remote control.