Cumberland Times-News

May 15, 2008

Keep right side up, go to church

David Sandvick, Columnist

Have you noticed how two people may look at the same piece of artwork and yet come away with totally different interpretations of it? The same is true of poetry, music, and fluffy cloud formations.

It is rarely true, however, of roller coasters, but it does happen. It happened to my wife. After riding one of Disney's newest coasters with some friends, we compared our experiences as we exited the ride.

The kids were saying things like "Awesome!" and "That was sooooo cool!" Another said, "It was so scary!" It was at this point my wife chimed in with her assessment. She replied, "I was scared too, especially when it went upside down."

At that moment the six other riders all did a double-take. "What do you mean, upside down?" Our friend asked. My wife replied, "You know, when it went backwards it also went upside down."

Almost as if we were circus trained hyena's, we all laughed out loud together. I told her that the ride did not go upside down. With indignation she said, "The car I was in did!" More laughter. Someone asked her, "How is it that only your car in the coaster train went upside down?" By this time my wife had a defeated look on her face when she said with little conviction, "Well, it did."

The truth of the matter is that the roller coaster did not go upside down even though it felt that way to my wife. Sometimes life has the same effect. The ups and downs may come so quickly that we don't know which way is up.

Not enough money, too many bills, and a non-stop schedule all contribute to this whirlwind life so many of us live. Slowing down enough to attend church and pray is a great way to keep right side up in this crazy world. Attend a good church this Sunday.

The next time my wife rode that coaster there was no upside down part for her. "They must have changed it." She explained. That's right, stick to your guns.

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