I went for a Ferris wheel ride. It wasn't a grand Ferris wheel like the one in Paris, no it was the kind found in small amusement parks. This one was perched on the side of a mountain in North Carolina.
My granddaughter was with me and perhaps that explains the reason for my death grip on the pole that acted as our safety bar and seat belt. Well at least I can use that for an excuse...but really I think it was fear.
What I noticed was a strange phenomenon. For most of the ride I was gripping very tightly on the bar and there was no joy, no beauty, no sense of anything but the feeling of that grip. But there were a few moments of freedom, of letting go, of release and in those moments came a flood of sensations. My senses awakened. I could feel my hair blowing in the breeze, I saw the the clouds and the mountains, I felt the warmth of the sun, I heard the laughter, and I tasted joy. Then the death grip returned and all that went away; eyes closed , ears deaf, touch gone, nothing but fear.
The next day I heard a sermon. It was all good information but toward the end the pastor said something that really caught my attention. "I have been told there are two kinds of people basically, those who are manipulative ( he had his hands closed tight in a fist facing down) and those who are contemplative ( he opened his fists and turned them palms up)."
Oh I got the message. I knew exactly what the Lord was showing me on that Ferris wheel ride. I spend most of my life gripping the bar in fear which is a control/manipulative based life. Shutting down my senses of sight, taste, touch, hearing, smell and most of all my heart.
The times I let go of this fear based life and become "contemplative" my hands are open to receive all the life the Lord has to give me and I come alive....fully alive. What is impressed in my memory of the Ferris wheel ride are those few moments of well, glory. I have forgotten all the rest.