I loved a parade when I was younger. I love parades today. My heart always swells with pride as the local bands march by. I wave to the beauty queens in my own beauty queen style, I rush for the candy, and I stand and hoop and holler when a military branch passes by. But this past Saturday I got a different view. I was actually in the parade and I haven’t done anything so exhilarating and fun in such a long time.
Marynan was put in charge of having a float for SAPP’S Physical Therapy which meant the rest of us got involved. For one, my vehicle found its home in the driveway for those days of decorating while the float remained safely tucked away in our garage. Sandy had to put a shine to his truck since he was doing the pulling. And we all showed up early Saturday morning to load the added equipment onto the trailer – two pieces of exercise equipment.
I had originally planned to ride shotgun in the cab, and then I thought, no, I’d really like to walk the route. But when we got to SAPP’S and they needed an extra “leg” to ride the stationary bike, I jumped on it. Literally. And I was so glad I did. If I thought watching a parade was fun, there was no comparison when it came to actually participating in it. To watch the faces of the children on the side of the road; to have them shout and wave to us; even to see the adults engaging brought much greater joy than just standing on the sidelines and watching a parade pass by. If I said it once during that 3 mile trek, I said it a dozen times, “This is so much fun!”
The thing about watching a parade is that the scenery doesn’t change – and really neither do the people. And when it’s over and done, you get back in your car and ride home. But this time, I actually made a journey from here to there – and the ride home was one of excitement as I remained on the back of that trailer—still sitting on that exercise bike – with my hair blowing in the wind and every sensory fully alive. And for a moment, I forgot all else.
And so in this ordinary moment, I couldn’t help but think that’s the way it is with our spiritual walk. God asks us to engage, to participate, to be totally present in this parade of life: not just bystanders who wait for the free candy.