The Lesson of the Lumberjack

When I was three, my parents took me to Six Flags over Texas.  I got lost among other things, but the thing that defined the trip was the log ride.

It was the first water log ride ever made, and my dad insisted we go on it.  All my adult life when I have envisioned that ride in my mind’s eye there is a huge lumberjack with legs spread apart at the top of the flume where the log goes through and then plummets. He is dressed in a red and black checkered flannel shirt with big brown leather boots.  He holds a large axe in his hand as he threaten to chop the wood.  This has always been the image in my mind, so much so I described it to friends that way.

We recently went to Dollywood and I knew I was to get on the log ride with my husband.  The ride is called Daredevil Falls, because they drop you down a sixty feet free fall and you hit 50 miles an hour on the way down.  As a teen, I had already conquered the fear,  but here it was again, and I knew what I had to do.

As we approached the ride, I literally thought I might pass out before we got there.  “Well, if I die, there are worst ways of going,” I thought.  Here I am: a brave, couregous intercessor warrior princess.  Yep.  That is me.

So, I put one foot in front of the other and thankfully there was very little line.  Something about a virus going around prevented people from coming, and hardly anyone was in the park.

A strange thing happened when I sat down into “the log.”  The fear began to subside.  I did keep breathing deeply though just in case.  We began the ascent straight up to the top and at first I could feel my head begin to swim.  I shut my eyes, but then thought, “No Lord if you told me to do this I’m doing it all the way.”  So I forced them open.

As we rounded the bend at the top to the edge of our plummet, a thrill of excitement went through me.  This sudden shock of anticipation surprised me.  It actually felt good. I made the decision to throw my hands in the air in the face of fear and yell like a baby all the way down.

Over the edge we went, and all the way down, my hands were thrown up in a victory wave and with all my might, I screamed as loud as I could.  My husband said at some point on the way down that He was smiling.  I think I may have embarrassed my kids who were watching below.

When we got off, I jumped like a jack rabbit clapping my hands. “I did it! I did it!” I exclaimed.

After the fact, I decided to go look up the infamous first log ride I had ridden at Six Flags to see if it is still there.  It is, but what’s more I found pictures of it from when I would have ridden it.

There was no lumberjack at all, no axe hanging above my head.  All there was was a small control shack out of wood at the crest the ride.

Then I remembered what had really happened.  My father had lied to me.  He had told me the story of the lumberjack that lived in the shack and that he would chop the wood as we floated by.  That we might get chopped up.  He told that to me, his three year old, who believed him, and created the whole senerio in my mind.

And that my friend is the power of lie.

Now, more than ever we need the truth of who God is, and who He has called us to be.  The enemy of our souls, the Father of lies, is working overtime to fill us with lies, fears, and images of destruction.  Only the truth will set us free.

May we lean back into the everlasting love of our Heavenly Father, and enjoy the ride, because He’s got us, and He is far greater than our enemy.

Perfect love casts out all fear.  1 John 4:18

In rest and confident trust is our strength. Isaiah 30:15

2 Comments on “The Lesson of the Lumberjack

  1. So enjoyed this post. I’m wont to believe that your dad didn’t “lie” to frighten you, but to create a more memorable experience. Sounds like it worked. 🙂 Such a great lesson here; and so glad you conquered Daredevil Falls.


    • Actually, JD, though I so wish it were different, he was like that. He intentionally did many things to terrify me. That was the main power play he used, fear. So opposite of our loving, heavenly Father


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