September 25th , 2012 9:14 am Leave a comment

Living: On a merry-go-round


Someone has rightly said that this is the information age. I can remember when one went to a dictionary, an encyclopedia, some reference book, or spent hours going through the card catalogue at a library to find information. Today we go on the Internet and click on any subject and find more information than we thought existed.

Recently I discovered that the earliest reference of a merry-go-ground was about 500 AD and that the Crusaders were so impressed they brought the idea back to Europe. It spread quickly and the European countries were soon developing their own version. Some of them used boards as seats as you went around and around.

One style was a dirt floor with live horses moving around. In America it became the carousel. With colorful wooden horses going up and down accompanied by beautiful music, the merry-go-round had arrived. Every carnival, fair and amusement park had one.

Do you remember your first ride on a carousel? When I was thinking about my experience, I remembered the merry-go-round on the school yard. We had a lot of fun on it. It seemed strange that I did not remember a carousel, because I grew up only a few blocks from the fairground.

I think it may have been because I had a pastor who believed that carnivals were evil. He did not hesitate to remind us of the gambling events and the questionable side shows which were not appropriate for families. He described it as a sinful place, and my parents probably believed that it was not a place for children. By the time the merry-go-round arrived at the county fair and the amusement parks, gambling had become a game and side shows had moved to bars. Although there were an increasing number of other rides, the carousel continued to be the most popular for the children.

Isn’t it interesting that on a merry-go-round you have fun riding a horse but you never get anywhere. You get off at the same place you got on. Sometimes the one may feel life is like that. It may be fun, but you don’t think you are getting anywhere. It is going around and around and doing the same things.

One of the ways a Christian avoids this is with Bible study and to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18 NKJV) Another is to be faithful to the church and … “forsake not the assembling of ourselves together.” (Hebrews 10:25) It may help to remember one day we will be with Jesus. We are going somewhere!

-Bob Polk


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