A couple years ago, for Mother’s Day, we went to a local park where there is a train and merry-go-round. (And other things as well, but they aren’t critical to this story).
It was me and my little family, and another little family that we match up perfectly next too. You know, husband husband, wife wife, daughter daughter, son son. And miracle of all miracles, we all get along and genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
So we went to the park to ride the train and the merry go round and there was the darling-est old man overseeing both the train and the carousel. Just picture the most precious old gentleman you have ever seen, with white hair and overalls (at least, I’m pretty sure he was in overalls. That’s how I remember him anyway. And with a conductor hat. But I think my imagination made that part up.)
So the wife pair, and the daughter pair decided to ride the carousel while “the mans” (as my daughter calls them) stood off to the side and talked and manly things (probably).
So we rode the carousel and chatted and the girls squealed with glee. And we talked, and we talked some more.
And I started to feel a bit dizzy, which is uncommon for me. And I noticed my mom friend glancing around casually.
And finally one of us said, “This ride has been going on for a while, hasn’t it?” And we kind of giggled it off and talked some more.
But at that point, it was kind of like, “Why IS this the never ending carousel?”
So then we tried to get the Hubby’s attention, because was the ride broken? What exactly was happening? Why was this the never ending merry go round? But they were too busy talking about…whatever they were talking about.
And we tried to distract ourselves from the turning and up and down and the world whirling past and the merry go round song that played over and over and over, but the situation was beginning to feel a bit frantic.
I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say we’d been on for probably about 10 minutes at this point.
Finally, we caught a glimpse of the darlingest man who was sitting in the conductors seat in the middle of the carousel, operating the whole thing (who was maybe or maybe not wearing overalls and a conductors hat).
And sure enough: he was asleep.
My friend exclaimed, “OH MY GOSH! HE’S ASLEEP! ” which promptly jolted him awake. (If this was a text, I’d insert my catch phrase here: “ALLLLLL the praise hands!”)
He looked a bit bewildered, then deliberately and blessedly reached over and hit the “off” button and the whole world slowed down and came back into focus.
We stumbled from the Carousel struggling to hold onto the girls as our feet re-adjusted to ground that wasn’t whirling round-and-round-and-round.
I think the Husbands asked a question like, “Where have you all been?” And were dumbfounded when we explained we had been on the merry-go-round THAT ENTIRE TIME. That the adorable conductor had fallen asleep and we had woken him up so that we could end the spin cycle. And also, we were so glad they were paying attention. (Insert just a smidge-bit of sarcasm there. Just the tiniest bit.)
Ever been stuck on a ride while the only one with the power to make it stop, was asleep? And the ones you thought were watching over you, lost track of you?
Ever felt that way in life? Like you are stuck on a loop you cannot get out of. And you’re sure the Lord must have fallen asleep on you. And the people you thought would have your back are distracted by something else and have no idea your world is in chaos and no one can find the off switch.
Or is it just me?
Even once you are back on solid ground it still feels like everything is shifting and you can’t get your bearings.
Or even worse, from the outside, everything looks fine. A normal, fun carousel ride – a normal, ordinary life. It’s only those stuck on it that know that what is going on is anything but normal.
I did ballet for years and years and years. One of the fundamental pieces of dance is the concept of spotting. When turning, pirouetting, or moving in any sort of circular motion, you pick a spot on the wall and keep your eyes glued to it as you turn until you can spot it no longer, than whip your head back around to that exact spot.
And on and on and on and on and on.
It’s called spotting.
And it can save your life in a series of pirouettes. If, if, you keep your eyes fixed on a spot.
So I got to thinking. Maybe, the key to surviving the spin of life, is spotting.
Picking a spot, and keeping our eyes fixed in the midst of the chaos and churn, is what can save us.
Fixing our thoughts, our hearts, our minds, on Him.
So we know, no matter what our circumstances are doing, no matter how fast our life is spinning, no matter who has lost track of us, we are sure where our gaze should fall – on Him.
We have an Anchor, a constant, a place our gaze and our trust can always spot.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You. Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. Isaiah 26:3-4
After all, He is our Rock. He isn’t moving.