Buy your ticket; take the ride.

I have always loved roller coasters.  Not the new-fangled loop-de-loops made of the most modern of metals.  They reek of space age engineering and prior planning.  No, I like me the rickety, peeling, wooden ones that seem to be broadcasting, “I will seriously injure someone, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon.”  You know the kind.  The car vibrates madly around the turns, one of the wheels screeches as if its bearings are shot, and your safety stap hooks onto…nothing.  And you know that if you mention this OSHA issue to the gentleman running the coaster,  yes, the man power napping in the booth with the pint bottle in one hip pocket, and a blackjack in the other, he will put you off this ride so fast your head will spin.

I like these rides because they seem more honest, more like life.  There is no flimsy promise of rocket-like travel, no jargon strewn patter about how many Gs the turns are, there is just teeth rattling, nausea, and bruises that mysteriously appear two days later: just like real life.

As this midway/sideshow/carney festival that passes for my life moves along, I realize that my soul and faith will always resemble those webs of 2x6s and carriage bolts.  It and they have been put up and taken down, repaired and reconfigured so many times that no one can remember exactly what the original plan was.  But it still gets the job done.  It still manages to make me take the chance, hold tight to those near me, and pray like mad.



About stalbansparish

St. Alban's Parish is a vibrant and diverse Episcopal Church in Washington, DC near the National Cathedral. We come from every walk of life, every culture and context, and every corner of this region. St. Alban's Parish is active in the city, engaging social issues, and making the reconciling love of Christ known in word and deed. We have ministries for children, youth, young adults, adults, and the elderly. We have outreach programs that address homelessness, poverty, the environment, and hunger. We believe in being open and inclusive to all people no matter disability, age, income, gender, race, or sexual orientation. We welcome the faithful, the seeker, and the doubter, because God's embrace is wide, and God's good news is for all people. We want you to come, participate, grow in God's love, and become a part of the Body of Christ at St. Alban's!
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7 Responses to Buy your ticket; take the ride.

  1. Dennis Jones says:

    The same could be said for old gadgets, such as manual (as opposed to electric) can openers, which work perfectly well with a bit of know-how (such as where to keep your fingers), and need never be the source of problems if you have a power outage.

  2. Lois Stratton says:

    This is brilliant,. Don’t know who wrote it,but guess Matt. You made my day! Lois Stratton

  3. Noell Sottile says:

    Alleluia! –Noell S.

  4. Kathy Culpin says:

    Anne Marie What a wonderful post how true. The best one of these roller coasters that I’ve been on can be found on Brighton Pier in the UK, it is wooden, rickety and shakes, rattles and rolls, as you say, like life itself. My American friends wondered if they were going to be dunked into the sea as it took them on their ride. The sea swirled and churned beneath the wooden slats and was probably more exhilerating than a more contemporary, steel and g force ride that can be found here. Worth a visit to anyone reading this……

  5. Lin Tate says:

    LOVE IT!! Yahoo!!… Lin Tate

  6. yalilla says:

    Anne Marie — Very real and very true and so well said!!!

  7. Anton Vanterpool II says:

    This meditation reminds me why I like going to baseball games played on natural grass over field turf. No matter how manicured the field is, God puts his hand on the landscape and a routine ground ball becomes a surprise double that wins the game.

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