Finding purpose at a theme park

Today I took my high school students to a theme park called Carowinds, which is just an hour and a half south of us in the city of Charlotte. Years ago I used to enjoy going to Carowinds and riding all of the rides but now I find it about as enjoyable as having an ingrown toenail. There's nothing wrong with Carowinds and I am glad that so many people go and have a good time, but it's lost its lustre for me. Add to that the fact that it was blazing hot there today and you have whipped up a perfect record for misery.

One thing that I do enjoy when I am at Carowinds is people watching. There are all sorts of shapes and sizes of people that come to this theme park and some of them are obviously seeking that perfect look for their lives. Now don't get me wrong - I am not being critical or making fun of people. But the way that people dress and carry themselves says a lot about how they feel about themselves. After careful analysis I decided to list a couple of observations that really stuck out to me.

First, there are a lot of people with tattoos. True, I have a tattoo but I'm not as giddy about mine so I have it in a place where I can easily cover it if I need to. For others, there objective is to show their tattoos to as many people as they can and often their tattoos are too difficult to discern by just a passing glance. And that seems to be the point - the more tattoos you have, the more people will notice you.

Second, there are a lot of people who like to show off their bodies. Girls with basically nothing but bikinis on and guys with their shirts off were everywhere. Carowinds does have a large water park on its grounds but many people chose to don their swimwear throughout the park. There ought to be a law about who and where people can wear two piece bathing suits - we'll call it the "One Piece Law." Putting all requests for modesty aside, there are lots and lots of people who really should only be allowed to wear a one piece bathing suit (it that at all).

Finally, there are a lot of people who really want to belong. When a group of 5 junior high students approaches a ride that allows only 4 people to a row, it's fascinating to see how the group decides who gets left out. And people say and do really bizarre things in public when they are at theme parks, which leads one to believe that they will do just about anything to get noticed.

All of this leads me to believe that people in our world are desperate to find their purpose in life. More often than not they seem to be seeking their purpose in superficial pursuits and activities that barely promise even temporary results. As I watched many of these people today I just wanted to tell them that they were fine just the way that they were. There was no need to flaunt what shouldn't be flaunted in hopes that they would be noticed. God has created each one of us with a purpose in mind - find that purpose on His terms, not the world's terms.


Anonymous said...

somebody is playing jokes on youy

Sterling Griggs said...

Not anymore...

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