Rollercoaster Life

rollercoasterI do not like roller coasters. No, let me rephrase that. I hate rollercoasters! As a child, I feared the churning in the pit of my stomach during the slow climb up to a precipitous drop or the sense of panic as we hurtled downward in a mechanical car plunging forward on a narrow track.

So even as an adult, whenever we visited a major theme park with friends and they wanted to ride the biggest, baddest rollercoaster, I was always the designated purse, bag, and food custodian. Me on a rollercoaster? No way!

Fast forward (pun intended!) to our life in Florida. After living in the flatlands of south Florida for six years, my husband and I vacationed in the Tennessee mountains. I had forgotten what it was like to drive on mountainous terrain. The dips and twists. The narrow turns. The blind spots until you reach the peak of an incline. Each time we drove, I had that same rollercoaster feeling, regardless of how slow we travelled.

I now realize it was not about height or speed. The issue was not about the steepness of the hill or the precipitousness of the plunge. It was about control…and the fact that I didn’t have any.

Life is like that. Twists and turns. Ups and downs. We climb to heights of joy one day only to plunge into a valley of disappointment the next.  The Bible reminds us that we need to trust God all the time. No exceptions. It doesn’t matter if the road of life is flat and our field of vision is long or if we’re hurtling forward into uncertain circumstances. Regardless of the situation, God always proves Himself to be our Rock, our Salvation, and our Shepherd.

The children in our lives are watching. Let’s model for them a life that trusts the One who straightens our path, regardless of the curves life may throw at us.

Who knows? Someday soon, you might even see me on a rollercoaster!

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About Ava Pennington

Ava Pennington is thoroughly enjoying her second career as an author, teacher, and speaker. She moved from New York to Florida, leaving a twenty-year corporate career as a Human Resources executive. But don’t call her retired! She now teaches a weekly, interdenominational Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class of 300+ women from September through May. Of course, Ava writes. She has written for organizations such as Focus on the Family, Christianity Today, and Haven Ministries. She has also been published in 25 anthologies, including nineteen Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Her newest book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is published by Revell Books and endorsed by Kay Arthur, founder of Precepts International. Ava has also co-authored two children’s picture books, Do You Love Me More? and Will I See You Today? If you’re looking for a speaker, she delights in challenging audiences with relevant, enjoyable presentations. For more information, please visit


Rollercoaster Life — 8 Comments

  1. Excellent post, Ava! I share your intense dislike for roller coasters–and your struggle with wanting to control the circumstances of life. I’ve learned, however, that a desire to control is rooted in fear and usually stems from a childhood need to create order out of chaos. Praise God that Jesus has delivered us from all fear and has, instead, given us a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. Since yielding to Jesus, I am now enjoying the exciting adventure of following Him–an adventure someone has aptly described as a “spiritual roller coaster ride.” It is a ride that is far more exhilarating than any roller coaster ride in any amusement park. And with Jesus at the helm of the roller coaster, we have absolutely nothing to fear. Praise His Holy Name! Blessings to you! :)

    MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, DMin, MFA
    Children’s Author

    Who Is Jesus?
    Candle Love
    Toby Too Small
    The Dandelion Patch
    Do Angels Ride Ponies?

  2. “The children in our lives are watching. Let’s model for them a life that trusts the One who straightens our path, regardless of the curves life may throw at us.” Love this!
    Thank you.

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