Chasing Rusty Slides.

by Alexandra Rutkowski

One day, a loving father tells his son that he is going to take him to Legoland. The little boy is excited to go, but hasn’t ever seen this place before. The father assures him it will be incredible and just to trust him.  On the ride over, the little boy sees an old rusty slide on the side of the road in a playground, and starts crying and begging his father to go there instead. Through the child’s tears, the father says, “But son, I’ve got something so much better for you! Why would you want that rusty old slide?” But the child continues to cry. Because it’s all he can see and all he knows, he can’t imagine anything making him happier.  He cries the entire car ride there, despite his father’s failed attempts to comfort him and his assurance that something better is coming. Suddenly, when his father pulls into Legoland, his boy stops crying, and is in awe. He couldn’t have imagined anything so beautiful. It’s like heaven to him! He runs inside, holding his father’s hand, so full of excitement and wonder. He completely forgets about that rusty old slide.
I heard this story a few months ago, and it has really impacted my perspective and taught me a lot about trust in God. Though it’s a simple story, it’s penetrated every thought. We all come across rusty slides in our lives. Whether it is interests, distractions, or the plans that we make for ourselves. When we depart from God’s plans for us and pursue what we think will make us happier, we make a big mistake. We settle for a rusty slide. Meanwhile, God is trying to convince us to trust Him because He has something so much more beautiful planned for us. “Why would you want that rusty old slide? I’ve got something so much better for you! Just trust me.” We kick and cry and complain all the way through, but if we let God have his way, we are filled with awe, and forget all about those rusty old slides.
Ever since I was a youngin’, I had planned on pursuing an education and training as a fine artist. A few months before graduating high school, God told me to go to Valley Forge and go into the ministry. Come again? Give up what would make me happiest? No. I fought with God, the idiot that I was. I grumbled and complained. I thought that my plans would make me happiest. But because it was all I knew, I couldn’t imagine anything making me happier. I finally surrendered myself and my dreams to God, trusting that He would make things work. Now, I’ve never been happier. Looking back, I realize that I would have been miserable as a career artist, and God proved that so many ways. He was protecting me from that.
If you look at it generically, it applies to anything we could want or imagine for ourselves. We want rusty slides because we know it, we can see it, and it provides instant gratification.

Rusty slides hurt. There’s a reason God protects us from them, or warns us against them.

I often have to remind myself to stop chasing rusty slides.

Don’t settle for that rusty slide. You’re going to Legoland.

And just like that little boy, take your Father’s hand and let Him guide you into something simply indescribable.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”