A Message from the Playground

Old Merry-Go-Round

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:13, NIV

I was thinking about this today, remembering the playground as a child.  I absolutely understood “the merry-go-round.”  I believed deep-down that it had been invented for just me.  It fit me, very well.  I like pushing around and around, and when it started to get beyond me, I would fling myself on to the spinning platform.

If I made it, the battle was only half-done.  Now, I had not only had to stay on, but I also had to avoid all other kids being spun off.  Just getting to your feet was a major undertaking. As the centrifugal force began to increase, the faster it went, the greater our momentum, and the more kids were thrown off; they tumbled into the mud.  There would be kids strewn all over the place, in heaps, crying. Clothes ripped, and knees bleeding. This wasn’t for ‘the faint of heart.’ This was war!

If somehow, you could make it to the center, you were the king of the “merry-go-round!”  For me at the ripe old age of 7, it was amazing!  I would exult and crow of beating my mechanical nemesis and blowing away the laws of physics.  But there are parallels here (surprise!)

Sometimes, life is a difficult ride.  But I know this.  If I can make it to the center, everything will be ok.  The dynamics of discipleship and mental (or physical) illnesses make it different.  We are all trying to find our way.  We stumble and fall (even hurled into the mud.)  But the center is right were we need to be.  It is the center that compels and calls. We were made for this.

We must continually fight to be at the center.  If you fall off, you can get right back up, and try again.  Nothing gets easier. Everyone scrapes their knees. I think one of the reasons that “heaven” is not talked about on every page of the Bible is we all would ‘mutiny,’ and head for its glorious shores. It’s going to be that good.

We will struggle.  But, we can struggle well with our illnesses if we we know His presence.  I get so my edges are frayed, and I feel like everything around me is dissolving.  My “fight or flight instinct” kicks in, and I feel frantic trying to hold together.  Being mentally ill is like flying a plane that has engine problems.  There is no escape; all you want it to cower and hide.  But you can’t. There is no place to go, but Jesus.

But there is a certain place, and when you battle to get to the center, you will find freedom from the pull of outward things. It is good to rest in Jesus, and abide in the center with him. Spiritually, you have been infused with His presence.  And you rise up!  You now discover that you have wings.

And the ‘merry-go-round’ has served its purpose. aabryscript

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About Pastor Bryan Lowe

A repentant rascal with definite issues, but who is seeking to be authentic in his faith to Jesus Christ. An avid reader and a hopeful writer. Husband and father. A pastor and Bible teacher. A brain tumor survivor. Diagnosed with clinical depression, epilepsy, and now disabled. Enjoys life, such as it is, in Alaska.
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3 Responses to A Message from the Playground

  1. Ben DeVries says:

    Bryan, thank you. I appreciate this post, and have also appreciated a talk from Greg Boyd which addresses some of the same themes, “The Center of the Ride”: http://whchurch.org/sermons-media/sermon/the-center-of-the-ride

    Like

  2. Beth says:

    Brother, you’ve presented such a deep understanding of our struggle. Well said. Thank you.

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  3. Debbie says:

    Love the ending here! God bless you and the ministry He has given you.

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