We boarded the ferry with excitement and anticipation as we headed back to our Honeymoon location – Mackinac Island, Michigan. Twenty years of marriage and four children had passed since we last visited the island together as a young couple. Mackinac Island, located between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan, is a unique and charming vacation destination. It’s like going back in time, since no cars are allowed on the tiny island. Transportation is done only via horse and carriage or bicycles.
Mackinac Island is also known for its smells, and I’m not referring to the horses, but I could be. The wonderful aroma that fills the air and captures your nose and your sweet tooth is from the world-famous fudge shops that line main street – this part of our trip excited Kristen maybe more than any other part - ha. But what thrilled me more than anything was the fact we brought our own bikes. The thought of not having to rent junky old bikes with a 2-hour time limit was awesome and I couldn’t wait to venture out and see the island in all its beauty. After doing the normal tourist ride around the island, we enjoyed our first round of fudge along with a little tourist shopping. We were quickly back on the bikes and on a new adventure, only this time we were headed to the center of the island - we’d never discovered this part of Island before. We peddled past historic homes, beautiful horse stables and even an airport – I said cars were not allowed, but I guess planes are ok.
We quickly discovered some off-road trails and I was anxious to show off my skills to my bride on our anniversary. I thought to myself, ‘I’ve still got it, I haven’t lost a thing, look at me impress my wife’. Well, they say pride goes before a fall. And I fell. As I was coming down a hill, my front tire suddenly turned the wrong way in the loose gravel and I flipped over the handlebars, crashing to the ground – in full view of Kristen. I got up and tried to play it off like Mr. Tough Guy. Kristen ran over with concern, but quickly started laughing when she realized I was ok. Ouch! I was now hurting inside and out. We headed back to our hotel room to bandage some cuts and scrapes. Later, Kristen bought me a T-shirt that read ‘I do all my own stunts’ with a picture of a guy falling off his bike. I guess I am not the only one who did that.
What a crazy 20th Anniversary trip it had been – nothing like we planned or hoped – as Kristen’s bike was later stolen, or borrowed, but I’ll save that for another time. As we look back and reflect, we both laugh and agree we wouldn’t change a thing from that day or our marriage. Marriage is a lot like our day at Mackinac Island. At times we are going to fall and get hurt or hurt our spouse, but we must get back up and keep riding – asking for forgiveness and giving grace freely. Other times are sweeter - filled with fudge, shopping and laughter. Wherever you are in your marriage, keep peddling, keep loving and laughing and most importantly… never give up.
Philippians 3:14 ~ I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.