Rollercoaster Ride

What Movie World taught me about Self-Denial & Heaven

As I begin writing this reflection I’m still in awe at how much of a spiritual experience I’ve left Movie World with last Saturday. One of the biggest fears in my life is roller coaster rides or just any amusement park ride in general. To show for this, I have only ridden on one such ride at the age of 15 – almost 10 years ago. Still, I found myself one early Saturday morning on the drive up to Gold Coast attending an event at Warner Brothers Movie World and being surrounded by VERY enthusiastic friends who were thrilled about the adrenaline rush they were going to receive.

The build-up of this excitement made my heart beat so loud and fast, my tummy ache in nervousness and a voice in my head scream “There’s no way out!”. Well of course this isn’t true because I could just choose to not go on them. But in hindsight, there was a quiet determination in me to actually face this fear of mine head on. It felt simply like a battle was about to take place – a battle of my will to prove to myself that I can face this against my fear of being tossed around and probably dying. And man oh man, did that battle take place!

There were a total of 6 rides that were open and I am pleased to exclaim that I successfully managed to get myself onto all of them and survived! However the most victorious part of my time at Movie World was how God so loudly spoke to me through the experience of getting on each ride. I quickly learnt that that it wasn’t my will anymore that was up in the battle against my fear. Because if it really were my will I would have easily chosen to have a care-free, constant-butterflies-in-my-stomach free, enjoyable time staying in my comfortable comfort zone and just taking in the experience of being in Gold Coast.

But slowly, the quiet determination in me began to grow stronger and became the loud voice saying “Do it because you know how much better you’d feel at the end of the ride. Do it because everyone else has done it and have survived”. And that’s how I started prepping myself before going on the first couple of rides. Things started to become more real and nerve-wrecking though, right before getting on the Green Lantern because we were getting to the hard stuff now. It took so much out of me to not turn around and just run away.

And I started reflecting (after the ride of course) that this is exactly how God wants me to power through all the struggles and sufferings that are about to come my way. He knows I’m going to be scared, He knows I’m going to want to feel like giving up and running away but He just wants me to focus on the end; keeping the goal in sight – a place in his Heavenly kingdom and embrace. I certainly did not get on the rides to enjoy the experience of it or the rush it gave me – heck I had my eyes closed on all the rides, ALL the time! (My sister thought I actually died for a second on the Arkham Asylum when she saw my eyes closed and head hung in total surrender to the experience). Before I knew it I realized was doing God’s will, not my own. I was choosing to deny what I thought would be the better option of just having a relaxing day out; I was sucking it up and going on all the rides simply because I just knew I would have a better time knowing I had conquered my fear.

This must be how doing the will of God is. It’s a hard decision to follow, it requires denying your pleasures, it goes against what seems the most desirable, you feel like running away right before, the experience of it makes you nauseous; but the peace right after - that is what the entire experience is for..

“And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid”
— John 14:27

As of right now, I’m just a little bit more confident for when God decides to throw a roller coaster ride à la Arkham Asylum to lead me closer to Heaven. Maybe next time I’ll try and keep my eyes open during the journey to truly enjoy the incomparable joy that would come after. Maybe. 

This reflection was written by Chermaine, whom despite not enjoying rides, managed to ride every single ride in this trip to Movie World. She could be compared to a modern day Superwoman, because she is so fly.