For the past two weeks, I have had corporate events in two very different cities – Washington, D.C. and Miami Beach – unified to me by the presence of a Ferris wheel in each location. As I stood and watched people get on and off, I thought about how this ride reflects where I am in life.
Of course, a wheel is often used as a metaphor in this way. (Cue the chorus of singing African animals: “The circle of li-i-i-fe.”) You can see it in the process of aging and yielding one’s spot to the next generation. You can see it in the rotation of the day and of the week. And in the seasons.
Round and round we go.
There is a temptation to think of our lives as a rising and falling. We thrill as we ascend: getting a better job, upgrading our housing, acquiring skills, friends, wealth. Then we peak. And telling ourselves, “It’s all downhill from here,” we try to enjoy what remains of the view while the ride descends.
But that’s not the story of the Kingdom. For every descent, there is another ascent waiting. That’s the hope we’ve been given. I think of what Paul writes in 1 Tim. 6:17:
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
I love the last part. Our hope is in the fact that God provides everything for our enjoyment. The view at the top is certainly for our pleasure. But also, the view going down. And the people with us. And the expectation that God has another go-round waiting for us.
This is my 400th post of 8:18. All along, this journey has been one of hope – that God would meet me each time I looked for him in the world around me. Most often, I found him shining through those moments of delight, when the sunlight slid through clouds, or shadows made an urban landscape mysterious. Or when the very thing I had been musing on was revealed in some physical manifestation right before me.
And each time he met me, and I completed the “ride,” there was the anticipation of another round ahead.
But I’ve been slowing down in my frequency of posting, as you may have noticed. It’s hard to find the time I need to do this well. Plus, I have a strong pulling toward other personal projects.
So, though I’m not willing to say this is my last post, I will say that I need a hiatus. Maybe after some time, I’ll find new material and a renewed energy to share with you. Or maybe this is it.
If you will, keep your subscription. And let’s see what happens.
In any case, it has been wonderful to have you as fellow riders. I hope this has inspired you to be more aware of those rich provisions that Paul speaks of -- those everyday adventures with God in the amazing world he created.
Be sure of this: the ride continues for us all. In this world and the next.
For our hope is in God, who not only created the view and constructed the ride but bought the ticket for us to join him there.
Jesus, thank you for inviting us to meet you in this world you’ve placed us into. Continue to give us eyes to see, ears to hear and memories to hold onto the truth of your enduring commitment to us. We’re along for this ride!
Reader: Do you ride Ferris wheels? If so, what do you like about them?