A night sky lit up with crackling lights and dazzling colour showers is one of the few things that still readily inspires people to say, “Ooooohhh,” and “Aaaaaahhhh.” The best part is that we never know what to expect. With each crack and boom, we look to the sky to see what wonder will burst forth to savour for the fleeting time it exists.
Every year on Canada Day, my family climbs into the car and makes the trip to the public park near our cottage at Midland and Penetanguishene, Ontario to join the crowd in the viewing area. Limited parking means we arrive early. The crowd swells and mills about, lighting sparklers and waving glow-stick wrist bands. We wait. We always think that it’s dark enough for fireworks long before they actually begin.
Then, with a loud crack, they do. We stop and our eyes turn to the sky. We watch the star bursts, living in the moment, as we have to with fireworks.
Almost everyone stands in place, eyes raised in wonder. They smile and say, “Wow!” But not everyone. A small child beside me cries and buries her face in her mother’s shoulder. She doesn’t like the loud noise. A man staggers through the crowd, intoxicated. He doesn’t look up at the fireworks and won’t remember them in the morning.
The next day I meet people near my cottage and ask if they enjoyed the fireworks. They say, “Oh, I wanted to go, but we had to go to our friend’s house.” Or, “Oh, I didn’t go. I couldn’t be bothered.” Not everyone thinks that fireworks are worth the ride.
I love fireworks, but I can’t expect everyone to come along for that ride.
I have learned to look at matters of faith that way.
Faith is part of my life. Like fireworks, it is one of the few things that still readily inspires me to say, “Ooooohhh,” and “Aaaaaahhhh.” And I never know what to expect. I wait to see what wonder will burst forth to savour for the fleeting time it exists.
But I accept that not everyone wants to go along for that ride; at least not in the same car.
Some people find it too intense and need to hide their heads. Others deal with issues of mental illness or addiction. Some people have other things to do. Others just simply can’t be bothered.
That’s OK. Because I know that acceptance of where others are at and the ride they are on is the best way. People who try to get everyone everywhere to believe exactly the same thing find themselves on a futile and frustrating journey.