In 1976, I flew to Toronto and took a bus to Simcoe (close to Niagara Falls). There, I picked up, right off the assembly line, a 1977 Chevy Sport Van and began the drive back to Calgary, where I lived at that time.
The dealership I’d purchased from, because I was in ministry, gave me a discount large enough to pay for the flight and the drive back, with a bit left over.
I drove back through the U.S., so in addition to enjoying the drive in my new van, I was able to see a lot of new country.
About 25 miles from where I picked up the van, I drove past Tillsonburg and began humming Stompin’ Tom Connor’s “Tillsonburg, Tillsonburg, my back still aches when I hear that word.”
Just outside of Tillsonburg, I noticed a small paved road called, “Jackson Sideroad.”
Life is full of surprises, and the following year, I was driving the same van back to Ontario to attend London Baptist Seminary. On the second day of the first semester, I met an energized, gregarious and attractive blond girl from … of all places, Tillsonburg.
I was smitten in the most delightful fashion!
A few months later, that same girl invited me to spend the weekend at her parents’ home so that she could show me Niagara Falls, which was only a short drive from their place. She left the campus ahead of me, but provided me with directions. I noticed that they lived on Jackson Sideroad!
I proposed to that same young lady seven months later and, just recently, we celebrated 33 years of marriage.
Like most of us, I have made my share of mistakes, but meeting and marrying my wife is not one of them.
We have served the Lord together in missions and churches in four provinces. There have been ups and downs and round and rounds, but if I have any regret, it’s that we didn’t meet sooner so that we could have even more time together.
I am thankful to God for the wonderful institution of marriage. It provides the only calculation that defies mathematical sense, because in marriage, one plus one equals one.
Marriage is a relationship that eradicates loneliness, enhances and corrects (sometimes painfully) character and the only institution that I know of that doubles the income and cuts the rent in half!
The polls and statistics might say and report what they will … the culture might dance to whatever amoral tune it desires in these days … but the truth remains that, The Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two become one.” (Ephesians 5:31)
Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church.