Amusement Park: Swinging Box
“How about that ride?” Jesus pointed to a box hanging by four poles from a horizontal bar. “I love riding this one!”
Amalia agreed, and they climbed in. “This swing is supposed to be able to go all the way around, right?”
“Yes, if you keep working at it.”
Amalia waited. But nothing happened. No motor came on to move them. The box remained stationary.
“Is this ride broken? Why isn’t it swinging?”
“It’s waiting for you.”
“For me? What do I have to do? I’m already inside, standing up, holding on to the wall handles. I’m ready. So why doesn’t someone push the button to get this ride moving?” She leaned out the window. “Hey, anybody out there?”
“Amalia, You have to get it moving.”
“How do I do that?” She studied the walls, ceiling, and floor. “There are no buttons in here either.”
“The power comes from your body. You have to move, and then the box will move.”
“Oh, okay, if I have to.” She began hopping, jumping from foot to foot. The box jiggled, but didn’t start swinging. She jumped harder, willing the box to swing, but it only jiggled more violently. “Come on, box! Why are you just jiggling? Start swinging!” Frustrated at the lack of desired response, she looked at Jesus. He was laughing.
“Why are You laughing?”
“I’m laughing at the confusion this box must have, being jumped on like that. It’s reacting exactly as it should to what you are doing.”
“What do you mean? I’m trying as hard as I can to get it to swing, but it just bounces!”
“I know. But have you noticed that when you jump up and down, the box does the same?”
“How else am I supposed to get it to move?” Amalia frowned. “Besides, I like jumping.”
“Think about how a swing works. Specific movements are required. Any other movements won’t result in the swing moving in the direction it was made to move. You know, it’s kind of like when you do acts of service for people. You have to fit your actions to what they need. If you do only what you like or want, you won’t get worthwhile results.”
“What do you mean?”
“When you help people, you want to make their lives a little better, right? You want to bring them some happiness, share some love, or meet a need they have. But what if you only did what you wanted? What if someone needed their yard mowed, but you only liked to give food. If you went to them with food, they wouldn’t be very appreciative. They might be confused, or maybe even hurt that you weren’t really thinking about them.”
“Okay, I think I get it. “ She imagined sitting on a swing, and focused on which movements the swing needed her body to make into order to move. “Oh, I have to shift my weight frontwards and backwards.”
Amalia rocked back and forth. The box began to swing slightly. “It’s working!”
“Great! Keep going!”
After a while, sweaty from the effort, Amalia stopped moving. “Jesus, this is too hard. I’ve done my best, but I can only get halfway up. Can You help me?”
“I thought you’d never ask!”
He threw His weight with hers, and the box quickly climbed higher with each swing. Soon the momentum of the box’s movements added to their effort, and Amalia found that she didn’t have to work as hard at it as she had at the beginning.
“This is fantastic!” Amalia laughed aloud.
With Jesus grinning by her side, they continued shifting their weight, and the box climbed even higher. Higher and higher and higher, until they were directly above the horizontal bar. They lingered there just a moment, before swinging back down, and up the other side until they were above the horizontal bar again.
Amalia marveled. To be suspended up in the air like that had to be one of the most fascinating experiences she’s ever had.
And then it got better. On the next swing up, instead of lingering at the top, it kept moving. It continued down the back, then up and over again, making complete circles around the horizontal bar.
Amalia couldn’t contain her enthusiasm. “More! More!”
“That’s enough for now. Your body isn’t ready to maintain this for long. You need to take time to rest.”
Disappointed as the box slowly settled to a gentle swing, and then to a stop, Amalia realized her body was indeed spent. Jesus was right. She did need a rest.
And then, she reassured herself, she would get Him to take her up on this ride again.
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How do you know what people need?
All comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Galatians 6:9-10 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Romans 12:10-11 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Mark 6:30-31a The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest for a while.