There once was a family at the amusement park on a Saturday afternoon. They packed everything for the day except the kitchen sink. The Father, Mother, and two boys were just headed to the food court. The father put in the order for hamburger and fries. He turned around to ask the boys, “What would you like to drink? They have water, milk or coke” Coke both boys chimed in. Not the healthiest of meals but it was a unique day.
The family sat down to eat their meal all the while reminiscing about the rides that they have went on. The younger boy just very clearly, absolutely, positively wanted to stay back at the butterfly greenhouse the rest of the day. Actually, he wanted to be in that awesome space for all eternity. The older brother really wanted to ride the rollercoaster. He has been talking about it all day. The rollercoaster turned every which way, had a loopty loop ring and even had a dark tunnel where it took your picture! The whole family was going to ride the rollercoaster later that day. The youngest boy just stared at the rollercoaster not exactly sure what to make of it. Maybe he just would happen to be not quite tall enough to ride the rollercoaster.
See, the little boy didn’t want to be adventurous and ride on the rollercoaster. The very thought of it made him wheezy in the stomach to even go but he wasn’t going to go against his families wishes and let them down. He wanted them to know yet he just couldn’t speak of it. They all seemed so very excited about the very idea of going on the rollercoaster as if it was second nature. Maybe even as if it was their very reason for going to the amusement park. So it seemed to him. As he stood there thinking a man walked a circle around him. Another man seemed to be keeping an eye on him, every once in a while changing his post. The whole thing made him feel uneasy. He just thought of praiseworthy things instead. Oh, there were so many other wonderful things at the park, for instance the beautiful greenhouse that the youngest keep his eye on.
Sometime after they all ate and their tummy’s rested a bit they headed to the rollercoaster. The little boy still had not told anyone that he didn’t actually want to do this. Turns out he was an ok size for the coster, which gave him complete bewilderment. Maybe the measurement sign was a bit bent allowing him to be tall enough. Maybe he was invisible. Maybe it was a misunderstanding. Apparently, one of the Park staff stood at the gate. The gate could open automatically but he stood there holding it open. Letting a large crowd enter into the fenced line. As the boy walked he got an even stronger sense in his gut that something wasn’t quite right but he choose to ignored it.
He stood in line thinking about his not quite right feeling. This made him think back to his school teacher always says trust your gut. She even warned him and class about a man living in a van down by the river. It was rumored that man had puppies and kittens. He was warned to not visit him but also reassured if the boy ever found himself enticed by wanting to see the cute puppies and kittens he was to not wait around for witnessing trouble but trust his God given gut and walk away. He questioned if that should be the same filter he uses for things such as rollercoasters. Maybe they are completely different and thought no more of it.
He tried to turn around in line but was told by his family he would be fine. Changing the subject, the Father looked up in the sky and commented on how it looked like rain. It is just a process, no big deal. If that was even the truth this time after years he could no longer tell what was fiction. His father gave him a hug and told him how brave he is. The reassurance warmed his heart, for a while anyway. The boy held his jacket in front of him and pushed up his sleeves. Suddenly he noticed how warm it was outside. He stood behind his entire family in line. There was something wonderfully assuring in knowing that his family was there with him. He looked at the initial rollercoaster climb. It looked like a ruff twenty seconds to the top before the main drop. The fast pass staff tipped his hat and greeted the newbie with a “howdy partner” as if he greeted everyone the same. The boy nodded back. It is just a mirror of his actions but was it? This somehow confusingly reassured him in the moment. Another man stood next to him and bumped into his shoulder. Bump, bump, bump. It made him unable to think straight. Anyhow, he plopped himself in his seat and was buckled in, no turning back now for sure. He just leaned in, as he apparently did on all the other rides and sunk deep down into his seat.
He got on the rollercoaster and all seemed fine, whatever. Afterwards, his older brother was jumping around stating how very great it all was! It wasn’t even worth a memory. Than the boy’s mother looked at the youngest. She noticed his face had a tinge of green she had only seen at 3:00 AM during the flu season. The Mother grabbed the boy by the hand and brought him next to the garbage can, just in case. She knelt down in front of her son. She pressed her thumbs into his main artery on his wrists as if that action helped the nauseated feeling and she prayed. She prayed ever so calmly, softly, quietly, and gracefully as she controlled the situation. The boy blamed himself, thinking he should have had a better filter. He should have talked to God about his upset stomach. He should have done lots of other things to avoid the rollercoaster but he just really wanted a family. He thought that is just the price you have to pay for a family.
After the moment had passed and they were all surely in the clear the family went to visit the butterfly greenhouse. The boy was in heaven as he got to meet the Master Gardner. The family was incredibly joyful as the Master Gardner even introduced them to the entire light team. It was better than anything ever imaginable. They were so glad that they were there as an entire family.