The Rollercoaster of Planting

I’ve always liked rollercoasters – it’s something about the anticipation of thrill and the twists and turns. Maybe it’s because I am a wanna-be thrill seeker, loving the idea of living daringly and adventurously, but rather afraid to actually be a thrill seeker. Rollercoasters are a safe way to be adventurous.

Life often feels like a rollercoaster, too, but for some reason as a teenager I thought it would cease to feel that way when I grew up. While thinking about this today, I realized that life will probably always feel like a rollercoaster, with the drops giving contrast to the high climbs and the twists and turns providing excitement.

All of that sounds very poetic, but lately I’ve been unhappy with the rollercoaster. We’re not in deep drops or scary climbs… just bouncing around on the bumps, I guess. Last week I complained to Hans that I don’t like planting a chapter anymore and I want to quit. It’s too stressful. Too hard. We aren’t good at it.

He countered with a (true) statement about how we know this is where God has us for now and he (Hans) wants to see what God will do with it. I wanted to throw a pillow at him.

But a few days later, we sat in a student-run Bible study and read the parable of the four soils. While students asked questions and tried to understand the passage, I sat re-reading the text.

Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!”-Luke 8:8a

And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest. – Luke 8:15

These verses grabbed me, and seemed like a direct response to the feelings I had shared with Hans a few days previous. A huge crop was produced… by clinging to God’s word and patiently producing the harvest that God was planting.

And the next day a student texted Hans to organize a surprise birthday party for another Global InterVarsity student. And two days after that I sat in my living room with five other international ladies, singing “Jesus Loves Me” in Chinese and studying the Bible together.

The rollercoaster is feeling a little less horrible today, and God’s faithfulness is a lot more obvious. I still don’t particularly like planting a chapter, but it doesn’t seem so hard. I’m sure the bumps and twists will bother me again sometime in the next few months. But maybe I’ll be able to keep my eyes more open this time, to see the adventure and excitement of what God is doing here at Michigan Tech.

Who knows… maybe I’ll become a thrill-seeker yet!

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