Thursday, November 02, 2006

Safe arms

I remember as a child of about five or six going with my family on vacation to California. We did the whole movie studio tour and Disney experience. This vacation was memorable for several reasons. First, we had a second gas tank installed on our van and, in the middle of the Arizona desert, we tried for the first time to engage it - unsuccessfully. You get the idea of what trouble that means. We also, on this trip, were driving through some mountains and got in the middle of a rock slide (by rocks, I mean some were as big as the van and by slide I mean they were falling on the road all around us as we zigged and zagged our way through).

Disneyland Space MountainBut the most memorable event of this trip occurred at Disney Land. I wanted to do things with my dad. I wanted to be a big boy. I wanted to ride a roller coaster with dad. I wanted to ride Space Mountain. So we go get in line, waiting forever while I become more and more excited. Then the moment comes; we are at the head of the line. We are getting into the car, sitting side by side. The guy working there walks by to make sure we're all seated. The safety bar rolls back into place . . .

And stops a good foot short of my chest. Immediately, the cars started moving. My dad sees that, as it stood, I would be ejected without restraint somewhere in the first turn or loop. There is no chance for me to get off, no where I can go, so he does the only thing he can think to do - he reaches his arm across me and grabs hold of the outer shell of the car beside me, using his own arm as an impromptu safety bar. Obviously, since I am writing this, I made it through safely. My dad's knuckles were bone-white by the end of the ride, but he held me safe.

I learned a lesson that day, one that has not passed from me. My father wants to hold me safe. He'll let me do some things that he knows I probably shouldn't, but he is there to hold on to me and ensure that I come out the other side. Dad is about to turn 70 next month, and I've grown a lot since then. He can't do as much for me as he once did, and lives 350 miles away in Abilene. The lesson still stands, though, because I have a Father who has never left me, and whom I can never outgrow.

It gives me hope to know that my Father in heaven has arms waiting and willing to hold me safe.

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1 comment:

Anne said...

Very good story. :)

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