Waiting Room Toys…

Searching the giant pockets of my toggle coat, miraculously, and I mean miraculously, I found seven dollars. I never carry cash, and if I do it’s like a ten or a twenty. But I didn’t have time to recognize let alone thank the Lord for this mini miracle. Nope. I was late…

Running down Madison in my Hunters, frustrated at the two street parking meters that wouldn’t read my debit card, my eyes anxiously glanced upward. 
I was running late; who knows how late my dermatologist was running… But thankfully someone, or something else was running late too… the snow. The last I’d heard, forecasters predicted “white death”‘s (thanks Mike Harvey) e.t.a. would be at 2pm. It was now 2:31 with not a flake to be found. 
Walking down the hallway I entered the office, checked in at the front desk and surprise, surprise, the receptionist asked me to take a seat… it appeared they were at least one patient behind schedule. 
And right next to my chair sat this… Maybe you’ve seen it before – I believe they’re quite popular with preschools and pediatric offices the world (or at least the U.S.) over.

According to a toddler toy website

“The Original Anatex wooden Rollercoaster bead maze was introduced in homes, doctor’s offices, classrooms and daycare centers in 1982. Anatex bead mazes promote the development of fundamentals like hand eye coordination, color and shape recognition, sorting and counting.”

Ha! Well I can’t vouch for the “hand eye coordination” (at least on my part), but “1982” explains why this wooden wire rollercoaster’s synonymous with my childhood doctor visits. 
According to my Momma I wasn’t a sickly kid, but with my little brother being a) a boy and b) Mr. Accident Prone (seriously I think he’s broken every finger at least once), he was in the doctor’s office more often than my mom would like. And when Barret went so Jessika followed (and vise versa). 
I remember the giant fish tank that was in the middle of the room, and the mini fort-like jungle gym? I’m not even sure it was large enough to be called a “jungle gym,” but I lack the vocabulary, and quite frankly the motivation to find a better word, so… I’m sure you know what I mean. But the not-a-jungle-gym isn’t what this post is about… it’s about the Anatex wooden Rollercoaster bead maze. 
Well I’d finished reading the testimonial posters on the wall, circa 1987, on hair loss repair and the pitfalls of suntanning (didn’t know hair loss fell under the dermatology umbrella), and my attention turned back to the mess of wires on the floor that seemed so utterly out of place in a dermatologist office.
Looking down I remembered. And then I thought. 
I remembered playing with the beads on their perspective tracks. Most of the kids liked the orange or green track… you know the ones that swirled up high and dipped down low – generally the qualities that make any rollercoaster a good rollercoaster. And then I laughed to myself, because in typical Jessika fashion, even as a little girl I went against the grain. I defied the conventional orange-green favorites and opted for the milder red wire track. It wasn’t the “lamest” by any means (that award goes to blue), but it was pretty even-keeled. Rising to a medium height it seemed to cruise between the different tracks, swerving to the right or the left but always on its same plane. I guess it kind of reminded me of the Monorail, riding smoothly and calmly through the city. Not a lot of highs, and not a lot of lows. 
And then I got to thinking… 
Life. There’s a green track and an orange track. One minute you’re riding high, looping and swirling above the rest only to slide down that wire all the way to the bottom. I think we’ve all been there. No explanation needed. 
But the thing I realized is that life isn’t just a green track or an orange track. It’s a green, and an orange, and a red track… shoot even that lame blue track’s there. They’re all those different components that make up our life: relationships, jobs, family and friends, health, faith. They’re all different colored wires on the wooden frame that’s you, that’s me. 
Well my life, much like the weather we’ve been having has been quite unpredictable. One minute it’s sunny blue skies and the next snow’s about to wreak havoc on the icy roads. Okay that’s a bit dramatic, but it’s definitely been a rollercoaster. Particularly my “work” track. I can’t decide if it’s orange or green. 
But you know what? Praise the Lord I have a red track in my life. And what might that red track be? Well it’s my faith track – my relationship my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And that wire isn’t flimsy aluminum, but reinforced steel! It won’t break. Sure it wavers to the left and right from time to time, but it’s constant. It’s steady. And when one track (or all tracks) are down low my faith, that’s anchored in something stronger than myself, is there. Jesus is there. And life is good – come sunshine or snow. 
Life is great. 
And I am thankful. 

So what’s you’re red track? Is it strong enough to handle the ups and downs of all the others? You can trust Jesus, the Rock. He is steady and forever faithful. I hope you’ll make Him you’re red track too. 

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