Have you ever been on a roller coaster before? Sometimes, life is pretty much like a roller coaster to me. Saying “yes” to life is like going on the biggest roller-coaster ride of life – one so big that I cannot see the end from the beginning. Life is not always smooth sailing for me, I have to say. I get my share of ups and downs, just like everybody else.
Let me share with you a day or two in my life when things just didn’t seem to go my way. I was on my way home, one fateful day in Auckland. As the bus would only be due in four minutes’ time, I decided to quickly drop by the supermarket to grab some stuff. In the fruit section, there were some fresh grapes and the price tag below showed $1.49 per kg. It was a great bargain I thought. So I quickly grabbed some and stood in line at the check-out counter. The grapes came up to $3.30. I was pretty sure I took way less than 1kg. Convinced that the cashier must have made a mistake, I brought his attention to it only to find out that the actual price was $5.99 per kg and NOT $1.49. Frustrated, I just gave him my Eftpos debit card which he swiped and returned to me. I gathered up my stuff and was already on my way out when the cashier called out. I forgot to key in my pin numbers – in other words, I hadn’t paid for my purchase! I felt so embarrassed then. He must have thought I was trying to run away without paying. I apologized and tried to explain that I didn’t mean to run away without paying, muttering under my breath that I was in a hurry to catch the bus but it came out sounding so lame.
After that little episode, I rushed to the bus-stop and to my dismay the bus was already there. I ran the 30 metres or so to the bus and banged on the bus door to get the driver’s attention. He was kind enough to let me in. Once on-board, the driver said, “This bus will terminate at Victoria Park.” I was still a bit disoriented then, and all I heard was Victoria Park. Assuming that he meant the bus would go through Victoria Park, I paid for my ticket. Glad that I didn’t miss the bus, I settled down and tried to assure myself that everything would be alright.
It was a couple of stops later before it all sank in. The driver was telling everyone who wanted to board the bus, “This bus will terminate at Victoria Park.” I felt so numb then – hungry, nauseous, tired and frustrated. At Victoria Park stop, I thanked the driver and got off the bus. It was another half-an-hour walk to my hostel and I didn’t feel up to it. So I decided to wait for the next bus instead. Standing in the cold at the bus-stop, I was on the verge of tears. I ended up paying double for the bus tickets and it took me way longer to get home than if I had just walked in the first place. When we had days like these, it would have been so easy to give up – throw in the towel, raise the white flag and walk away from life.
If you have been to a funfair before, you would have observed a variety of characters hanging around the roller coaster ride. There are those adventurous ones who can’t wait to get on a ride – loving every second of it. There are also those who simply choose to remain on level ground, observing from a distance. It is the same in life. Do you choose to remain in the security of your comfort zone? Or are you one who is always seeking new challenges, widening your horizon?
As for me, the day I said “yes” to God’s invitation to a life in Christ, I’ve chosen to be on that ride – there’s no turning back! There are going to be ups and downs in this life, but one thing I know for sure – I’ll make it through to the end as long as I cling on to God’s promises. I’ll never let go.
*Excerpt taken from my book “Into Her World” –
published in 2005.