The roller coaster is a ride of anticipation. Hope boils as we wait in long, winding lines for the adventure of a two-minute ride. Once we’re on the coaster, it starts with the slow ascent, the track clicking along the way. From the moment it reaches the apex and plummets down until the end of the ride, it is all about hope. The surprise joy of the next turn.
The same is true for our “two-minute ride” on this earth. Our lives are brief. James calls it a “wisp of vapor”. Along the way, the twists and turns can be terrifying. The waits can be excruciating. The joys overwhelming.
No matter what is happening to us, it is shaping us for the next season. The next turn. The next rise or dip. It is preparing us for the next chapter. For our existence is eternal. And that eternity is shaped by what we do during this “wisp of vapor”, our two-minute ride on Earth.
Somewhat ironically, this perspective of hope is the best way to enjoy our present. Life is infused with anticipation. Things are not just randomly happening to us. There is a story at play. The track is connected. Someway. Somehow. Living in the moment requires the paradox of hoping for what is to come. Such is the nature of imperfection.
Perspective is our opportunity to harness anticipation, to see beyond ourselves, and to be filled with that most important of human qualities – hope. Life is hard and sometimes the dips can be painful. Sometimes the speed freezes us. And sometimes the joy comes bursting out. All of it is life. All of it is a call to true perspective. All of it is hope.
“And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.”
– Romans 5:2-5