About to take the plunge…

My niece and nephew visited us recently from California.  Though they’re 17 & 14, this was their first trip to Minnesota.  We did our best to give them a taste of what’s great about life here, mostly centered on the delights of our lake cabin.  They swam, fished, rode the inner tube behind the speedboat, and even tried waterskiing.  On the day of their scheduled return and because their flight didn’t depart until the evening, it was decided to spend that afternoon exploring the only MN landmark they had heard of, the Mall of America and its centerpiece attraction – an indoor theme park.

For these teenagers, and truly anyone young at heart, no trip to MOA would be deemed a success without first enjoying a few thrill rides.  And because I am too proud not be the “fun uncle,” I soon found myself getting strapped into a seat for “Sponge Bob’s Rock Bottom Plunge.”  This compact rollercoaster begins by sending riders flat on their backs, crawling steadily up towards the interior heights of the glass-roofed ceiling.  Once at the summit, the car you’re riding in shifts 180° and you find yourself momentarily suspended, staring straight back down to the floor, three stories below.

Then you fall.  Not simultaneously with the rest of your body, but eventually, your stomach catches up.  After hitting the floor, the momentum of the car carries you through loops and corkscrews in every direction and less than 2 minutes later, you’re right back where you started.  And wondering if you have enough points on your pass to let you take another ride.  But, if you’re like me, you then remember that fall, the one at the start, and you decide that once will certainly be enough for this visit.

In yesterday’s story from the Book of Acts, Eutychus took a three-story fall.  He wasn’t strapped into a padded harness and riding on a guided track.  His was a serious fall, serious enough to end his life.  Most falls aren’t fun and games.  There are more than a few in our community for whom even a fall to the floor, just from standing height, have proven to be treacherous.  When was the last fall you experienced?  Did you walk away or did it take some time to heal first?

Eutychus’ story was not likely captured as some cautionary tale about sitting in 3rd story windows.  It was more likely retold to underscore how God consistently acts to bring life in the face of death.  When you’re looking for God, this is where God can be found.  But I also like to believe that God enjoys being strapped into the rollercoaster seat next to me too.

May God’s peace come to you this day.  -Pastor Peter

Let us pray…

God of heights and depths, make your presence known.  Keep us safe from harm.  Reassure us when we fall.  Pick us back up again.  Echo our screams of joy.  Amen.

Enjoy a ride on the Rock Bottom Plunge without leaving the comfort of your own seat!