Cumberland Times-News

March 6, 2008

We do not need to fear what lies ahead

David Sandvick, Columnist

We recently traveled with another family to Disney World for a vacation out of which many memorable stories came. This is one of them.

The four children we traveled with all had varying experience with thrill rides, but wanted badly to try out some of Disney's best. Sadly, their father is kind of squeamish and maybe even slightly frightened of any ride that is not a slow train.

Being the good pastor that I am, I volunteered to take the kids on the thrill rides. While standing in line for the Tower of Terror, one of the kids, we'll call her "Arnie" to protect her identity, began what would be known that day as the "show of shows."

While just minutes from boarding our ride vehicle, "Arnie" squatted down on the floor with her legs crossed, and started crying. "Pastor David, I don't want to go. Don't make me go. I changed my mind." I calmly replied, "You're going."

As she started again with the crying, the ride attendant came to calm her down. He said, "Well, at least your dad is with you." And with what sounded like contempt amidst the tears, she replied, "He's not my dad, he's my pastor!" I just looked at the guy, nodded in agreement, and shrugged my shoulders and said, "Her dad was too scared. Not brave like her."

Sometimes the unknown in life is scary. What will happen with my job, the economy, my children, and all the rest? It can, in fact, become so scary that we just want to squat down and cry out, "Don't make me go." For Christians, we do not need to fear what lies ahead because wherever we go, our Lord is there already waiting for us. God will never leave us or take us anywhere without his presence.

As for the Tower of Terror, is it really necessary to say that "Arnie" loved it, wanted to do it again, and made fun of her father for being afraid to go on it?

David Sandvick is the pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.