#131: How Space Mountain is Like Following Jesus

I always liked Disneyland, but after living in Southern California for many years and taking numerous trips to the Happiest Place on Earth with family and friends our visits had slowed.

Space Mountain, Jesus, Following

I hadn’t been to Disneyland in several years that is until my daughter, Rebekah, invited dad along on a father-daughter day at Disneyland in the summer of 2008.

Rebekah, who was a student in college at the time had an annual pass and had become the families’ de-facto expert on all things Disney.

Rebekah planned the entire day; the time we needed to arrive, which fast passes to grab first, and what rides to do in what order.

At some point during the day, she took me to Space Mountain. I had never been on Space Mountain, but it looked cool as we entered the bowels of the mountain.

Rebekah insisted we sit in the front of our spaceship. This should have set off warning bells. We entered the mountain and were immediately thrown into pitch black space save a few stars. We climbed slowly enough to the top of the mountain, and then all you know what broke loose.

Our spaceship dove down at a perilous speed. It made a sharp left and right turns designed to separate your head from your shoulders as it careened through space. At this point, the stars I was seeing were probably the ones you see when you black out. I don’t remember the words I used to express my enthusiasm for the ride, but Rebekah says they are not words we are allowed to use in polite company.

As the ride ended a strobe light went off partially blinding me, and capturing my excitement for all posterity. As you can see in this picture I have a death grip on the handle of our spaceship.

As soon as the Disney employee pried my fingers off of the handle bar I climbed out of the spaceship and the ride was over. When my heart rate dropped to normal I asked Rebekah if we could go again!

Following Jesus is a lot like a ride on Space Mountain

First, most of the time you can’t see far enough into the future to know where God is taking you.

Second, there are times you go really, really, fast and times that you go really, really slow.

Third, there are times that you will be up, and times that you will be down.

Fourth, there are times when you think you are headed left, but suddenly God sends you to the right.

When I get to heaven I want to have a chat with Peter about that whole walking on water thing (Matthew 14:22-33). I think his story will be a little like my experience in Space Mountain.

When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water Peter was the one who was brave enough to want to walk on the water with Jesus. So, Jesus said sure, come on out, join me, and we’ll walk together. Peter hops out of the boat and does great for a little while, but gets nervous when the waves get bigger. His faith falters and he starts to sink, but Jesus is right there reaching out His hand to save him.

Here’s the thing. Truth time. Following Jesus can be scary. You may not know where He will lead you, or how the journey will go. But despite the trials and tribulations, and the moments of sheer panic there isn’t a better ride to be on this side of heaven than to follow Jesus. Like Peter, if we start to lose faith and sink a little all we have to do is call out, and Jesus is right there to save us.

One thing, though. Make sure you are in the front of the spaceship, sitting closest to Him, because unlike Space Mountain, your ride with Jesus never ends!

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Category: Personal Development | Dependence on God

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