I played Capture the Flag with 9 other people tonight in downtown Peoria. On our bikes. As we all gathered before breaking up into teams, I began to think like a 31 year old father of two, and thought about how ridiculously lame it would be if any of us got into trouble for having fun downtown. Clean fun. So, I suggested that if questioned by authorities, we should all say we go to Bethany Baptist Church (because nice people go there) and are a part of their college ministry (as everyone was pretty much 25 and up that was playing).
In order to “tag” another player, you had to shoot them with a squirt gun. And when I say squirt gun, I mean the kind your mom buys for you that leaks from the one seam down the middle and out from under the trigger. So, it was unlikely that anyone would get shot, but we all carried guns.
We all carried guns, on our bicycles, riding around downtown Peoria, at 9:00pm, in our 30s. And it was wonderful.
To spare you from reading a play-by-play, here are the highlights: I captured the flag in the first game (the flag was on the top of a 6-level parking deck), and I unsuccessfully guarded the flag in the second game. We played for about an hour and a half and received only strange looks and people shouting lame insults from their SUV’s and cool trucks. I was a kid again, and it was refreshing.
It reminded me of a book I read a few years ago by Donald Miller called “A Million Miles in A Thousand Years”. The book is basically about living a good story. I wished so badly that all of the people who were going out drinking on a Wednesday night had instead been on their bikes riding with us. We were kings and queens tonight, free to play in a place where no one takes the time to play. I’m thankful that I got invited to play, and to drink in life tonight.
I usually don’t get to do these types of things, being a two-job holding, 31 year old, married, father of two. That’s no surprise. My lot in life generally doesn’t allow much room for frivolous fun. But my beautiful wife knows me, and loves me, and gave me the freedom tonight to go have fun. And I love her so much for it.