After riding nearly every roller coaster in an amusement park that stretched to the horizon, my grown son wanted to board one last car. “Come on, Mom! This will be fun!”

All I could imagine was another shake-up, bone-jarring thrill of the afternoon. “No, sorry.” No wonder he kept expecting me to share a car. Starting with the first ride, I had pulled us into a fast, scary trip zigzagging through dark tunnels at speeds tested on the Salt Flats.

My son searched for the right words. He wondered what could be as motivating as “God Bless America!” and Sam Houston’s “Remember the Alamo!” Finally, the intelligent young man appealed to history and science, “But this is one of the old wooden models modeled after the Cyclone roller coaster on Coney Island in New York! You just have to ride this one for the experience!”

“Nope. I think I’ll sit out the ‘Judge Roy Scream.’ You can ride this one yourself. Have a great time!” I noticed the seats looked just right for a skinny eight-year-old. But I am as far from size eight as the east is to the west.

Having been raised with a mom who resembled a modern-day Sacagawea, my son stared at me in disbelief. I had packed the family in the car for thousands of miles and experiences in camping and road trips. At last, my young man parroted the words he had heard growing up, “Where is your sense of adventure?”

That did it! I straightened up. My joints clattered like dry bones in Ezekiel, and I squeezed myself into that small seat. Afterwards, still riding on an adventure high, I made it to the parking lot on my own two legs. My son didn’t even have to carry me.

Like the words that got me on the last roller coaster ride, this season, let us remember the angel’s words that spur us to focus on the core of Christmas: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” [Luke 2:11 NIV.] Now those are words worth keeping in our hearts all year.

Celebrate Christ the Lord!

[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, Intermedia Publishing, 2011. For more chuckles, keep checking her weekly blog on]

About Jo Russell

Jo’s humor, inspirational stories, articles and devotionals have spanned more than 40 years, with several national writing contest awards for humor. She's a contributing author in Chicken Soup for the Soul—Shaping the New You and Heavenly Humor for the Dieter’s Soul.

Contact Jo

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