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The start of the ‘journey’

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

January 31, 2024

We had no idea what we were starting.

It was December of 2019, and my son, Jake, and I traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the home of our beloved Pittsburgh Steelers, to attend Jake’s first professional football game, an early Christmas present.

It was 17 degrees, our team lost, and Jake cried. Somehow, we still enjoyed the overall experience and decided to try another game.

We decided, though, to check out another city. So, after losing a season to the pandemic, we bought tickets to a Steelers/Bengals game in Cincinnati, Ohio. On the way, we stopped at the Pro-Football Hall of Fame.

On the way home from that second trip, Jake mentioned visiting the stadium in Cleveland just to hit the gift shop and see the facility. We have zero desire to attend a game there.

So, we took a little detour on our way home and visited the “factory of sadness.”

I’m not sure how, but those two trips became “the journey to 30,” an effort to hit all 30 NFL stadiums. Jake and I hit stadium number 10 a few weeks ago when we attended a Giants/Eagles game at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

We’ve been frozen all but solid twice. We met Jerry Rice, a legendary former player. We met the governor of Maryland and a pig mascot just minutes apart. We’ve posed for countless photos for or with fans of other teams and the silly signs we bring to games. Jake and I have logged thousands of miles and thousands of smiles together. We’ve had hundreds of conversations with people wondering why Steelers fans are attending a game when the Steelers aren’t playing. We spent time tailgating with complete strangers.

That first, frozen game turned into something I cherish. It’s turned into so many amazing memories. And we never envisioned or intended any of it.

It’s funny how God does that. He takes us on journeys that are outside our understanding, outside our wildest imaginations. He turns the little and the mundane into the significant and the extraordinary.

Not all unexpected journeys are happy ones, I know. I was spending time considering some tough stuff in my life when God directed my attention to unwittingly starting our journey to 30.

I have no idea what God’s starting. I can still trust Him to get me there.

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