Last week Sister Julie and I were in Chicago having lunch with some friends at public radio WBEZ. Afterward, we decided to take a spin on the giant Ferris wheel on Navy Pier. Neither of us had ridden it before. So, being a people of ritual and symbol, we were swept up in the spirit and got in line for the ride. About a quarter of the way around, we were reminded why Chicago is called the Windy City. The wind whooshed through our gondola, adding to the thrill of being 150 feet in the air. Somewhere in a gondola not far from ours, people were laughing and screaming at the same time. From atop the Ferris wheel, we had a new perspective on everything we saw.
It was the perfect ending to a lunch-time filled with conversation about new ideas. Since then, I’ve come to realize that the ride isn’t actually over. Now when I think about new ideas, I think about the Ferris wheel and the thrill (and scariness…) of looking at things from a new perspective, from a place I’ve never been before. For me, new perspectives are a source of revelation about myself and the world, and of the unending marvels of God’s good Creation.
What experiences have had special meaning for you in your life? What new perspectives did they offer?
Sister Julie September 15, 2010 at 12:43 pm
Seriously, that is NOT me screaming like a 4 year old in the background. Really.
Marsha West September 15, 2010 at 12:45 pm
EGAD! That’s way too high for me!
JoyceElaine September 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm
I went on a band trip to Boston, Mass. and that’s where the idea of a vocation hit me. Here I am now at a totally different amazing place!
Lutheran Susan September 15, 2010 at 3:11 pm
A little Ferris Wheel history lesson…The first Ferris Wheel was built for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago by a man named George Washington Gale Ferris. He was from my hometown, Galesburg (roughly 200 miles SW of Chicago) and was named for George Washington Gale, who with GWGF’s father, Sylvanus Ferris, was the town’s founder and namesake. No one expected the Ferris Wheel to stay up, but it turned out to be the hit of the Fair. I’ve always thought it was a great story of perseverance and fighting for one’s dreams. If anyone’s interested in more detail, it is covered really well in Devil in the White City.
Sister Maxine September 15, 2010 at 3:32 pm
Hi Susan, Great info about ferris wheel. My sister just gave me a copy of Devil in the White City, so am eager to read more!
Sister Julie September 15, 2010 at 5:38 pm
Good to see you, Lutheran Susan!
karol September 15, 2010 at 7:16 pm
just so you know I was throwing up as soon as you started turning with the camera….but then I get sick on merry go rounds. great video!
Fran Cook September 15, 2010 at 9:53 pm
Devil in the White City is a fascinating read! I think you’ll really enjoy it. It’s nonfiction that reads like a novel.
DJC September 15, 2010 at 10:20 pm
I can go on the Ferris Wheel, but screamed like a baby on the swings!
Lutheran Susan September 15, 2010 at 11:22 pm
Thanks. I’ve recently been away at a cross-cultural experience as part of my seminary work. I lived and worked on a reservation in Montana. Talk about a new perspective! The poverty is shocking, but the effort of the elders and other community leaders to make positive differences in the lives of their people is amazing. It has made–and is still making–an impact on me as I discern where and how God is calling me to ministry.
Eilis September 16, 2010 at 5:11 pm
ohmy. That’s way too high for me. I’d be screaming my head off the entire time and yelling at the wind for rocking the bucket seat thing.