The Circus Rollercoaster

January 28, 2011 — 8 Comments

A great friend from college called me this week.  We talk from time to time and he brought up how much life has changed since we lived in a house together in college.  We’ve each had difference paths with ups and downs.  He’s single and been trying to figure out his “vocation” at the moment.  I filled him in on how my wife and our two kids were doing.  Our family had recently been to the circus when it came through town.

If you haven’t been to the circus before then you should go just to see the amount of stressed out parents.  Yes, my wife and I were two of them.  Despite the chaos, it was so much fun. We smiled.  We laughed.  We ate snow cones out of animal-shaped cups.  We felt a little queasy.  The kids wanted to be held.  They ran in circles while we chased.  We were exhausted but what an unforgetable experience.

Our time at the circus reminded me of the film, Parenthood directed by Ron Howard and starred Steve Martin.  Pay close attention to this short exchange.

I think of that scene often because I relate so much to Steve Martin’s character.  I react. I freak out. I over-analyze.  I can be loud.  I blame others. I even run away like a Monty Python and the Holy Grail character.

In life we are not guaranteed perfection.  We strive to achieve some height we cannot attain here on earth.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013 photo credit

“Then he (Jesus) said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must first deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 (NIV)

I’ve always been challenged by Jesus’ calling for us in life because ultimately he does not promise us an easy life but one filled with many challenges.  Ultimately there is “hope” by following him even when I feel the emotions of the circus or a rollercoaster.

As I thought about the circus and watched the rollercoaster scene again, they have become reminders…

-To lighten up.

-To laugh more.

-Keep going back to the circus and ride a rollercoaster

-That ultimately in life we will be fine.

Life is a Circus-Rollercoaster. It feels cliché but it’s true.

Enjoy the ride.

8 responses to The Circus Rollercoaster


    Cliché? maybe, true? Absolutely. We really make it hard on ourselves when we ignore the fact that we’re on the roller coaster and spend our time complaining about its path.

    Great post Dave. Always enjoyable. Oh, and if you don’t like my comment. Well exxxcccccccxuuuuuuuuuuse me!


      So true brother! I agree, don’t worry.

      Again the best line in the movie is in that video.
      The second best is from Steve Martin after his 6 year old throws up all over him. His wife looks at him and says “What are you waiting for, do something?” He responds, “Well, I’m just waiting for her head to spin around!”


    Wow! What a great clip and an fitting application by the wise blog author. So good that you can see it in this point of your life/marriage/parenthood. You’ve got a foot up on many of us that made the discovery too late. Thanks for your continued inspiration and sharing.


      Ha! Well Mark I make many of the same mistakes and go through similar frustrations. Movies are such a great to visualize and understand that you are not alone. I’ll keep them coming as I can. Look forward to catching up more from you too.


    Great Post Dave, it’s been so long since I’ve seen that movie, I would probably look at it in such a different light now!


      It’s one of those movies that has a delicate balance between humor, drama, and the reality in-between. I have caught it every few years on tv and that scene always hits me the hardest. You need to either have a family to understand those feelings or watch this movie to get it, though.


    Everyone loves what you guys are up too. Such clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the wonderful works guys I’ve added you guys to our blogroll.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Tweets that mention The Circus Rollercoaster « A Letter To America -- - January 28, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dave Schroeder, Aaron Conrad. Aaron Conrad said: RT @davidmschroeder: Life as a Circus-Rollercoaster. NEW blog post. Am I Steve Martin? […]

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