I was fifteen years old when I experienced this truth, as I took the Matterhorn ride at Disneyland for my first time. In those days, they paid high school students minimum wage during summer break to manually drop and secure the safety bar on each car—and my attendant was too busy flirting with the girl across the track. It was only at the top of the mountain that I realized—too late—that my safety bar was way up above my head, too far for me to reach up and grab in time for the plunge downward.
I only had a split second to make my decision—one that has guided my life ever since. In the face of danger, enjoy it to the max! There was no handhold, nothing but a smooth metal surface facing me, so I wedged myself in as tightly as I could and resolved that this would be the most exciting ride of my life! I even thought to myself; "If I fall, the worst that could happen is that I'd only be jumping to a conclusion" and laughed at my little joke as the cart plummeted.
For those who don't know, the Matterhorn ride is essentially an indoor roller coaster in the dark. There was no way to know which direction any upcoming sudden turn would go. So I had to live in the very essence of the moment and instantly lean in the opposite direction, to prevent being thrown to my death. A couple of times, I almost slipped out of the cart. It was a rush! I was thrust in to a state of heightened awareness, in which the immediate answer was crystal clear before me. I didn't have TIME to indulge myself in immobilizing fear.
Now, when I am facing what looks like a looming crisis or even a potential catastrophe, I take the time to remember how much fun living in the Now can be when I let go and enjoy it. Even when I fall asleep and get lost in my feelings, that memory is an anchor that safely tugs me home to myself.
"I am using this to heal my soul." "This can only bless me" and "Thank you God, Thank you God" are three affirmations that help me stay centered in the face of what I perceive as danger. Today's economic times have given many of us ample opportunity to practice the presence of Now. To paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut, these troublesome but exciting experiences are just "Dancing lessons from God." When I let God lead, in the face of danger, I enjoy it to the max!
Greg Barrette was born and raised in Unity and has been a Unity minister for thirty-two years. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the International New Thought Alliance, and has been elected President of four Unity regions. Greg is regularly published in Unity Magazine and is Unity's best-selling media author, including The Gift of Healing/Sleeping and his original recording of music for meditation, Heart of Oneness, among other titles.
Greg has also led Unity's largest ministries and is currently the
Senior Minister of Unity Northeast Church in Des Plaines, Illinois.