Take in the Joy of It All

Brothers and sisters,

It’s that time of the year again. One of my favorite local events has come back to town and I’m excited to get to go soon. Growing up in North Carolina, this event was one that I went to constantly either for school field trips or for church youth outings. To this day, I’m the one that always gets my friends together and sends out the text, “Ok, so when are we going?” Y’all, the State Fair is back!

Now, I will say this, I am a more subdued State Fair visitor. I’m not into all the crazy rides with the pi-rate ships flipping upside down or rides like, “The Zip-per,” which is just a monstrosity! I’ve never understood the desire to go on the ride that uses centrifugal force to push you against the wall. I guess folks are curious what the spin cycle on their washing machine is like?

Instead, I go to the fair to take in the atmosphere, check out the submissions of artists and farmers from all over the state, and eat as much crazy food as I can! Every year, there’s a new lineup of things you never knew could be fried (might I recommend the Fried Key Lime Pie Bites!). Every year, there’s at least one thing I hear about that I think, “I’ve got to try that.” And this year, thanks to a local Instagram account I fol-low, I know what I’m looking for. It’s the Korean Corn Dog by Golden K Dog. It’s a chicken sausage with mozzarella cheese and fried like a corn dog. French fries are added to the batter, then it’s rolled in Flaming Hot Cheetos, drizzled with nacho cheese, and served with a side of spicy mayo. Sign me up!

Now, you may be wondering why I’m talking about the State Fair and particularly why I’m talking about a corn dog covered in Flaming Hot Cheetos. The answer is simply this, I love the creativity of the State Fair. It is a place where all different kinds of people from all different places all over this state come together to show off their talents and their interests. You can go into one section of the fair and see the largest produce you can imagine, cared for diligently by farmers here in NC. Go to another building and you can find local cake artists recreating scenes from Charlie Brown or creating a pastoral farm scene or making a Hocus Pocus themed cake. In another part are pumpkin carvers. In yet another part are musicians. And then, yes, there are the wildly creative food vendors.

What it reminds me of is the vast creativity of God. We were shaped and molded by a God who created all kinds of landscapes, land-forms, animals, birds, fish, reptiles, etc. And we are called, in our own unique ways, to be creative as well. We are called to use the gifts and talents God has given us in creative ways. Sometimes to spread the Gospel. Sometimes to reach out to our communities. Sometimes just to bring others joy. So, if you go to the State Fair this year, I’d encourage you to take a few moments and just take in all the wonderful creativity surrounding you. Whether you are there for the rides, the gargantuan produce, or the crazy food, take in the joy of it all.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Ben