Welcome to the Ride of Your Life

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

18 June 2020

Life is often described as a roller coaster. It’s full of ups and downs as well as twists and turns. Sometimes you’re slowly creeping up a hill, and other times you’re a plummeting down in a tiny steel car at speeds over 80 miles per hour. And while I agree with the analogy of life being a roller coaster, I think one important part is often left out … waiting in line.


If you’ve ever been to Disney, Great Adventure, or any of the other amusement parks around, you’ve likely waited on a long line. It’s not every time. On some visits the park may be almost empty, and you can go on the roller coaster several times in a row without waiting more than 15 minutes. But other times, you can be waiting for hours to get onto a ride that doesn’t last more than two minutes. Of course, the ride is thrilling, so the wait is worth it, but the waiting increases the excitement of the upcoming adventure. And how you wait helps define your character.

Have you ever been cut in one of these lines? People cutting in line and disregarding the time of others can be infuriating. You’ve been waiting for an hour and then you see one person walk through the line. They may say their friends are ahead or give some other sort of excuse. Why can’t they just wait patiently? Who knows? These people likely try to cheat and lie in real life too. They may simply lack empathy or compassion for others. But I’d also like to point out that there are hundreds of people waiting in line, and most of them are not cutting others. They’re waiting their turns. Let’s let the cutters cut. They don’t define us.

Front Row

When your waiting is almost over, you’re usually faced with another decision: Do you wait another 30 minutes and ride the front row? Or do you join the masses on the other rows and get on the next car? You might be afraid to ride the front row or simply tired of waiting. You also may have a large group of riders and don’t want to split yourselves up. Whatever your determination, it’s another decision to make.

Have you ever ridden in the front row? If you have, you get it. It’s a better ride. It’s more exhilarating. It’s more frightening. And it’s often worth the longer wait! Sometimes the best things in life require us to wait a little longer, and that’s okay.

Waiting may feel painful at times. Waiting may make us wonder if what lies ahead is worth it. If we’re waiting to live, thrive, and survive, the wait will just help us to define our characters. It’ll help us to define what matters. We must surrender to the wait and hold the space sacred.

In that space we learn who we are, we anticipate the future, and we get ready to throw our hands up and scream out of pure delight.