He had said he would go on the roller coaster. A 10 year old boy with a personality that preferred the safe rather than the risky. It had been a decision made with the encouragement of his Uncle. The bar that would lock us in was about to be pulled down and His eyes were full of fear. I, on the other hand, have adored the thrill of a roller coaster for as long as I can remember and was excited that we were about to experience the largest roller coaster in Disneyland.
So often life feels like a roller coaster, doesn't it? The interesting thing is we can react very differently to life's events depending on our personalities and situations. What can be happiness to one person causes another to close their eyes and wish it would all disappear.
In the Bible's book of James we are given a solution for every situation and for every personality, no matter what the roller coaster of life brings.
Is anyone of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let her sing songs of praise. James 5:13
No matter the situation, no matter your personality, prayer (talking to God), is always the answer. A song of praise is, in reality, a prayer of joy to God. Normally singing praise is something we do communally, but here it is in the singular. Just as my heart filled with joy in anticipation whilst going up the rollercoaster, I should be raising my voice to God in a prayer of song. As the 10 year old at my side quakes, he calls out for help. Prayer always fits.
So what happened to the 10 year old, fearful of the roller coaster? The kind attendant saw his fear and gave him the option of jumping off and waiting on the side until his I got back. Guess what? The idea of that was scarier than a roller coaster ride. He would rather be with me than wait alone. I feel that way about my roller coaster ride of life - the joy is better and the hard times easier because I live with Jesus by my side.
Rev Jenni Stoddart is the Chaplain at Abbotsleigh, an Anglican school for girls. She is an Anglican Deacon who has worked in Sydney Parishes for 20 years focussed on youth, children and families. She loves preaching God's word whether the hearer is 5, 15, 25 or 75 and even more when the generations are all in together.