Last year I happened upon an event where people were sliding in buttermilk batter, hopping through puddles of jelly, and getting dusted with flour in a race to win the Biscuitville Bowl. So when I learned the event was returning to Center City Park, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to meet these people. Janie and I talked with college students and local residents who were racers and spectators of the sport, some were willing to dream, others were not. Overall, the dreams that were shared were the most religious to date. The racing team that won the grand prize, “Honey Badgers,” had custom shirts for the occasion with 4HG (For His Glory) boldly printed on the front. Each of the young men wrote down their dreams, but were not interested in exchanging pleasantries.
I approached two women sitting at a table near the fountains and asked them if they had any dreams. One woman said “You are talking to two mothers of special needs kids, of course we have dreams.” Both women quickly wrote what must have been at the forefront of their minds every day—the desire for research and education to better the lives of their children and others in similar positions.
After writing their hopes and dreams and giving away their lottery tickets to a friend, two different women asked me if I would give my responses to five brief questions. “Of course,” I replied wanting to make sure I am generous with my time as others are generous with me. The questions she read from the Assurance Questionnaire eventually lead to whether or not I believed I would go to heaven if I died today and why I deserved to be there. I think I disappointed these women with my responses to their questions on faith and organized religion. After 20 minutes of listening to stories about Jesus Christ and the impact of my sins, I politely informed the women that I would not be visiting their church and that their time might be better spent with someone else. They told me to read my Bible (assuming that I had a Bible)—but I can’t remember what passages. I think they felt sorry for my young daughter when I turned and walked to greet her.
Towards the end of the morning, Janie met a group of female volunteers who were thrilled to dream. In addition to telling Janie they would find her if they won (I hope to share their spoils), they chattered about all the clothes and food they would buy with their winnings. Their enthusiasm and excitement were rewarding after being outside in the sun for hours.