The Elevator Ride of Death

At the beginning of last month, our family took a trip to the State Capitol for a conference.  I was so excited when it was determined that Carrie, Drew and Carter would be able to come with us this year!  The journey was relatively uneventful….although it did include a highly technical (and effective) procedure of grinning Drew down.  That could be saved for a Parenting 101 post…or something.

I’m sure at the beginning of the week, we figured that it would be a conference much like many other conference.  But, oh no.  This conference would be quite unlike any other we had ever experienced.  Even unlike anything anyone had ever experienced. 

This trip was the one in which Carrie, Carter and I experienced…..The Elevator Ride of Death.

Our hotel room was situated on the 5th floor.  We exited the room that day, blissfully unaware that anything was about to happen.  Our innocent little minds were thinking merely of getting across the street to the conference center.  Never once did we think of the shock and terror that lay just a few feet down the hall.  Closer and closer we came to the elevator room.  Closer and closer to…..the Elevator Ride of Death.

The doors to the elevator opened with a slightly ominous roll, I’m sure.  Since we were not expecting anything out of the ordinary, we paid it no heed but calmly got in the elevator, Carrie pushing the stroller.  She reached out her hand to push the “G” button for Ground.  Hmm.  The doors remained open.  I waited a few minutes, sure that they would get their act together soon. 

They didn’t.  I glanced to the button panel and realized that the button we wanted hadn’t registered as pushed.  Just as I was in the middle of calmly telling Carrie about this fact, the doors closed and the elevator started moving….up.  No buttons were lit up to indicate the destination.  We had no idea where we were going. Desperately trying to correct this course, Carrie pushed the “G” button.  Didn’t register.  She tried again.  Nothing.

Floor 6…

Floor 7…

Floor 8…

We stood there in the metal capsule, rising higher and higher.  I could feel it gaining speed.  In my mind’s eye, I could picture the little box that carried us hurtling up, up, up….and smashing straight into the ceiling at the very top.  The elevator was hurtling toward the sky.

Still we stood, merciless to the whims of this cantankerous contraption which gave us no indication as to its mindset.  If elevators could laugh, I could guarantee you that this one was laughing. Evilly.

Floor 13…

Floor 14…

Floor 15…

Still we rose higher, the beeps letting us know each time we passed another floor.  There was nothing we could do.  I supposed we could have made out our wills, but there was no one there to sign as witnesses after our demise. 

Floor 19…

Floor 20…

This was it.  We were done for.

Floor 21…

Floor 22…

The elevator stopped.  The doors slid open as if this was routine.  Carrie and I stood quite stunned and speechless for a moment.  Finally overcoming the temporary paralysis, I stepped toward the door.  “Let’s find another elevator.”  As soon as the words escaped my lips, a man and a women proceeded toward our very elevator.  “Just kidding,” I murmured.  I lied.  I wasn’t kidding.

The man and the woman entered the elevator.  Carrie and I pasted smiles on our faces and tried to be friendly.  I wondered if I should tell them.  “You…really don’t want to take this elevator.”  But I said nothing. 

They pushed the “G” button.  It lit up.  Soon the elevator traveled down.  At a normal speed.  Seconds later and we were exiting the elevator on the ground floor, breathing in the air of freedom with a new appreciation.  The couple left, having no idea of the danger they almost encountered.

This indeed was a unique experience.  Rest assured that no harm came to Carrie, Carter or me (other than near heart failure). The odd thing is that afterward Carrie told me that to her the elevator seemed to be moving at an incredibly slow pace.  Hmm.  Odd elevator.

In the midst of the recounting of the scary hilarity of this ride…looking back I see that we were never in any danger.  We weren’t really hurtling toward the ceiling.  We weren’t trapped.  Perhaps God sent this as a small test to remind us that He is our Help and the One to turn to…we need not be afraid of things…even elevator rides that seem like a Ride of Death.

-Bonnie

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