Tuesday, October 23, 2012

On the Road to the Altar: 32 Days and Counting…

Last Saturday, the autumn air was fragrant with the scent of cotton candy, funnel cakes, candy apples, and vinegar fries. October is state fair time in my hometown, and my fiancé and I paid the fair a visit. Yep! We were big kids for a couple of hours.

Upon entering, our first order of business was FOOD! Sean had his lunch menu planned before we arrived. I was a bit less decisive. However, after finding a sausage dog vendor for him, the sight of a corn dog on the menu quickly won my affection.

Later, we walked the fairgrounds taking in the familiar sights and sounds from our wonder years. We padded the pockets of game operators with dollar bills. Then we laughed and encouraged each other in our attempts to take home a stuffed something or other from one of those unwinnable fair games. He’s the basketball guru,

The NOT SO fair Fair game


but even I tried to plunk a ball through one of those odd-shaped rims.

Instead of "nothing but net," make that NOT even close to the net!

Didn’t work. 🙂

There are three things you absolutely must do when attending a state fair:

  1. Eat something greasy

    Something greasy

  2. Have a bag of  cotton candy or a candy apple (or both)

    candy apple (the cotton candy is gone)

  3. Ride at least one of those big fair rides

    Fair ride

    – forgetting the fact that, only days prior, that big contraption was hauled in on 18 wheelers like an over-sized model toy with a lot of (not just some) assembly required.

Minutes before my we would retrace our steps back to the car, Sean and I stood at the entrance gate to a ride called the Cliff Hanger. While awaiting our turn, I intensely watched and studied the machine. The passengers soared through the air on their stomachs as if they were superman. Meanwhile, the flutter of butterflies filled my stomach.

Subconsciously, I tried desperately to predict my experience on this ride based on their facial expressions. Are they having fun? Is it scary? Are the individual flying contraptions comfortable? Can they move? Are they going to high? Too fast? Is it safe? Is the operator paying attention? Can they fall out??? “I must be crazy to do this,” I thought to myself. As the questions in my head grew more frantic, the latch was lifted and fear tried to creep in.

Moments later our turn came to take a flight on this Cliff Hanger. As the attendant harnessed us in, I made a decision. I decided to let go. Let go of the thoughts and fears that were trying to steal all of my fun and just FLY! The feeling of flying through the air on my belly was meant to mimic what it might be like to actually fly, and it was so cool!

The Cliff Hanger

I giggled like a school girl with my arms outstretched yelling, “I’m Tinkerbell!” Of course, he was Peter Pan. 🙂 Yes, I was silly and it was FUN! The more I embraced my turn on the ride the more fun it became, the more I enjoyed MY experience.

That evening, I recounted my pre-ride thoughts to Sean. A marriage revelation began to unfold. I watched the riders before me so hard, hoping to know exactly how my turn would look and feel even before it arrived. That, of course, was simply impossible. I had to get on the ride and see for myself.

For years I’ve stood outside the gate peering at the lives of my espoused friends and family members. I tried to discern what this ride called marriage is going to be like. In 32 days, I will get on the ride and see for myself. Fact is, I’m not them and they’re not me, so our experiences will not be the same. Our marriage experience will be what we make it, with ample pockets of uncertainty along the way for good measure. The uncertainty keeps us focused and dependent on the One who knows our whole story – God the Father. We just need to let go, trust the Operator and fly through the sky. Tinkerbell and Peter Pan.

Until next time,