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Eric K. Thomsen





Eric Thomsen is managing editor of ONE Magazine. Send comments and observations about ONE to


With a loud hiss, the large hydraulic door slowly began to close. Brilliant sunshine receded, plunging the cramped space into darkness. Powerful engines stirred to life, pulsating like distant drums in some primordial forest. A puff of tepid air shot from the smooth wall near my head, making me jump and jerk away.

I felt a small hand slip into my own. “Daddy, I’m scared.” Squeezing my daughter’s hand, I replied shakily, “Everything’s going to be okay, Sweetheart.”

I didn’t convince anyone. The adventure that seemed so innocent, so fun had become a nightmare.

A shuddering groan passed through the darkness, and I felt a vague sensation of circular movement. Closing my eyes, I leaned back against the cushions and tried to relax.





The strange sensations continued, and suddenly, the darkness was pierced by screams—shrieks of pure terror. Startled, I tried to raise my head only to discover that I couldn’t move. A giant hand held me pinned to the wall.

A moment later, my daughter’s hand was ripped from mine as I shot upward, coming to rest against the ceiling. The relentless pressure pressed harder and harder, stretching my skin tight against my skull, ripping the air from my lungs. The screams grew louder, and I realized that my voice had joined the chorus. Gritting my teeth, I shut my eyes, held my breath, and prayed for the nauseating nightmare to end.

And then it did.

The motors died. The screams stopped. I slid back down the wall and looked into the petrified face of my daughter. “See.” I smiled weakly. “I told you it would be okay.”

How many times do we let our lives spin out of control, governed by a relentless to-do list, pinned to the wall by a never-ending series of personal and ministry responsibilities.

In our quest to lead effective lives for Christ, we forget the importance of developing a clear vision of whom we are in Christ and what He wants us to accomplish through us. To our dismay, the adventure of abundant life turns into a nightmare of near misses. We find ourselves screaming into the darkness, “How did I end up here? Stop the ride. I want to get off!”

As you read this issue of ONE Magazine, take time to consider. Are you running your life? Or is your life running you? Perhaps it’s time to reevaluate your direction, to develop a new vision. Perhaps it’s time to stop spinning and start living.

When the door opened, I staggered into the sunshine with my fellow adventurers wondering if my own face were as green as theirs.

My wife waited at the end of the ramp with arms crossed, an “I told you so” expression on her face. Glancing over my shoulder, I ruefully shook my head. “Next time, you are taking her on the G-Force Simulator!”






©2009 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists