My father makes ferris wheels. Not the big kind used at county fairs and carnivals, but small ones. It started years ago with a bicycle wheel and some pans. Dad, an iron worker by trade, welded old pans to the axle of the wheel and mounted it to the top of a pole in the back yard. A strong gust of wind sent it spinning. He called it the “pan fan.” He was, and still is, proud of his pan fan. That led to him making his first miniature ferris wheel. Today, if you visit our house, you can see a scrap metal ferris wheel standing 4 1/2 feet tall in the front yard. It has railroad spikes for cars and a rebar, Texas star at its base. Each morning, as I leave for work, I spin it. For luck I guess, I’m not really sure. But it is a daily ritual.
At church on Sunday, Bro. Robby White told the familiar story about the worry tree. The story goes that a man having a terribly unlucky day stops at a tree in his yard. He stands there and grabs its leaves with both hands. After a minute he walks through the front door and embraces his family. When a friend asks him, “what’s the deal with the tree? Why’d you do that?” The man tells him, “that’s my worry tree. Before I see my wife and kids, I walk over to it and leave my worries there on that tree.”
I came home that night, after a long day of multiple church services, small group studies, meetings, and planning. Not a stressful day, not really; but there was plenty on my mind. I sat in my truck looking at the tree in my front yard. I tend to struggle with letting go of work before I get home. It isn’t always a bad thing, but at times, it is the cause of anxiety and worry. I decided to try the worry tree. There, in the night, I stood in my own front yard holding the leaves a tree. I felt ridiculous. I’m sure that I looked ridiculous. And it didn’t work. I dropped my hands in frustration and said to the night sky, “I’m not a tree guy.” My eyes drifted to the ferris wheel.
Hands on the ferris wheel, I closed my eyes and cast my worries. Anything that could wait till tomorrow, I tried to lay there. I opened my eyes, spun the wheel, and went inside. The next morning I passed by the ferris wheel and spun it as I walked to my truck, like every morning. While I backed out of the drive way I noticed the wheel still spinning and all of the sudden remembered that I had laid my worries there. I had forgotten.