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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)

TITLE: Safety Harness
By Patty Wysong


“You want me to do what?!” Suze could hardly believe what she’d heard.

“Do that ride with me.” Sean, her husband, was grinning from ear to ear.

“That’s a roller coaster! Were you hoping I wouldn’t notice?”

Sean laughed. “You loved Space Mountain and that’s a roller coaster, too.”

“Yeah, but there’s no loop-de-loops on Space Mountain and this one not only has a loop, but look at that drop! I can’t do that!” Suze gripped the handrail in front of her as she watched a car of screaming people fly past on their sides.

“Sure you can! You can do more than you think. You’ve tried so many other things these last few years and ended up liking them, you need to try this one, too.” Sean said.

She looked back at the roller coaster and thought, indecision churning in her stomach, fear yapping around her ankles like a tiny attack dog. She didn’t budge as she watched another car top out of the initial climb and begin its descent. Her stomach churned as she thought about that drop and what Sean had said.

She took a deep breath and said, “Ok. Let’s do it.”

Twenty minutes later she climbed into a car and pulled the safety harness down over her shoulders. ‘What am I doing here, Lord?’ she silently cried, panic creeping close.

As she clutched the hand-grips she felt God’s reply. “You’re in My safety harness, Suze, the palm of My hand. Hold onto Me and you’ll be just fine. A roller coaster is like life: it’ll scare the bejeebers out of you one minute and give you thrills the next, then send you through loops and rolls and leave you wondering if you’re upside down or right side up. As long as you focus on Me, and hold onto Me, you’ll stay on My track. Yes, you’ll loose your stomach and be scared at times, but I’ll be right there with you, holding you tight.”

The car lurched forward and Suze drew a deep breath. “I can do this! God is with me, He’s holding me close. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

As they ground their way up to the summit the panic clawed at her. She knew what was coming next: the big plummet to the bottom and she had to choose between the panicking voice inside her that was screaming, ‘get me outta here!’ and the soothing voice saying, ‘you can do this, it’s all right.’

Just as they topped out and hung there for a split second she made her choice. “I can do this!” Then the bottom dropped out from beneath her and she went flying down, screaming as she went. The fear was there, but so was the confidence that she was safe within her safety harness. God’s safety harness.

They whizzed around sharp corners, were tossed on their sides and before she knew it the loop was coming at her. ‘Ok, here it comes…” she thought as they hurtled toward it. Up. Around. Down.

“Wahooooo!” Suze screamed as they were thrown into the next turn and rolled onto their sides.

After a few more heart-stopping moments they rolled back into the loading area. “You did it, Suze!” Sean hauled her out of the car and steadied her as she stood there on rubbery legs. “I knew you could do it!” He laughed as he hugged her close. “Did you like you it?”

Suze looked back at the roller coaster. “A roller coaster is a lot like life. With God as my safety harness I’ll be ok. Scared, shaken, tossed around, out of my comfort zone, but safe within the palm of His hand.”
“You want me to what?!” Suze could hardly believe what she’d heard.

Mike, the youth pastor was serious. “Teach the sophomore girl’s Sunday School class.”

“I’ve never taught Sunday School before and I don’t know anything about high school girls.”

Sean snickered. “Remember the roller coaster.”

Suze looked at him, flabbergasted. “What does a roller coaster have to do with teaching sophomore girls?”

“You can do more than you think, you just have to get out of your comfort zone and try! Besides, you were looking for a place to serve here in the church.”

She took a deep breath and muttered, “Safety harness,” then looked at Mike and said, “Ok, I’ll teach them.”

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

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Member Comments
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Joanne Sher 05/03/07
You have some wonderful images throughout this - and a wonderfully vivid description, especially of the roller coaster ride. Great spiritual application, too!
Jan Ackerson 05/07/07
Great article, you really captured the stomach-churning feeling. And there's no way on earth that I would EVER get on one of those.
Sheri Gordon05/07/07
Ooh, this is good. I feel the same way about rollercoasters with big drops. I've never compared in to life -- what a great analogy.

Well written, easy to read, nice flow. Nice story with a very good message.
Catrina Bradley 05/07/07
Love this description: "fear yapping around her ankles like a tiny attack dog." I also like how God used the word "bejeebers" :). Great lesson on leaning on God for strength and protection, and applying life lessons to our spiritual walk.
Ann Grover05/07/07
Very good application and description throughout. Wonderful to read... I could picture it, feel it. (Just check "loose" about halfway through...I think you want "lose.") Good work!!
Jacquelyn Horne05/07/07
Everything was "pictured" very well here. Good comparison. Good writing.
Mo 05/08/07
I really liked this, especially the 'bejeebers' paragraph.
Loren T. Lowery05/09/07
This was so good and spoke to me on so many levels. My favorite line, "As she clutched the hand-grips she felt God’s reply. “You’re in My safety harness, Suze, the palm of My hand. Hold onto Me and you’ll be just fine." How often do I need to remind myself of this. I especially liked your Biblical reference as well - one of my favorites. Thank-you for sharing.
Sara Harricharan 05/09/07
I think you captured a wonderful conflict of emotions and trust in this piece. I loved the roller coaster bit and especially the familiar response in the second half and Sean's matter-of-fact "Roller coaster" reminder. Very well done! ^_^
Lynda Schultz 05/09/07
Yup, I can relate - Venezuela is a lot like that roller coaster these days for expats. Thanks for the lesson. Very well done too, by the way!