A little over a month ago Nancy Beach spoke at a leadership training at Cornerstone. She really encouraged the churches volunteer staff to take pride in what they do, but more importantly, to keep themselves healthy whilst serving – an unhealthy volunteer is a useless volunteer. She encouraged us to find an activity that replenishes our energy levels, so we could keep our hearts and minds healthy.
Anyways, she asked us to identify that activity and then share it with the people at our table. It was interesting when my first reaction was to say hiking. Up until that point I would have called myself (and I still do) a beginner hiker who owned a Camelbak solely because it’s “what hikers do” – and therefore I could call myself a hiker, I also bought some Cliff bars, because hikers eat Cliff bars, right? I walked trails once every 2 weeks, maybe, if friends were in town, because it sounded cool and trendy… and we could hang out AND get a workout at the same time (best of both worlds).
So I said hiking, and explained why, something about “nature and God’s creation and beauty…” and moved on.
I quit my job about a week later… and by default, had a lot of free time. I was sitting at home one day looking out the window at the beautiful weather (that has just recently decided to flee the area… really putting a damper on my new found love for an activity that can only be accomplished outside: UPDATE…the weather has changed, and I am happy again) and remembered the proclamation I had made at that round table in the auditorium. I decided I’d try it out, and since I didn’t have any “hiking” friends in town… I was forced to go by myself.
And I was hooked.
Around the same time some of my good friends had just finished reading Donald Millers A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, from what I hear it’s an amazing book about your story and how every event in your life is a chapter that makes up the story of you (or something like that, I’m paraphrasing what I’ve heard from my friends… I haven’t personally read it yet… I think I’m doing a horrible job of explaining this). Anyways, one of my good friends Rachael Dailey decided to write her story in relation to hiking and the triumph of hiking Half Dome in June 2010 (go to her blog and read her story there) – she is witty and funny and honest, and I guarantee you will laugh out loud at least once in every post.
This all worked out perfectly… I was finding my new love for hiking and Dailey was writing her story about hiking, and because of that… we decided to do Saturday Hikes all throughout the Bay Area. We go from destination to destination, uping the mileage and overall climb every week, while we laugh and tell stories and reminisce and learn about each other; it’s quickly becoming my favorite time of the week.
My daily jaunts, either a hike, or a bike ride, or a hike and a bike ride… or a 20 mile bike ride with a 2 mile uphill hike… whatever it may be… the ones I do by myself: those ones fill my heart and mind, they rejuvenate me and replenish me. But the hikes I do with my friends, they fill my spirit and my soul… and they remind me how important fellowship and friendship really is.
So, I’m getting healthy… not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. I was explaining to a good friend today how, recently… I feel like I moved to Hawaii or Santa Cruz or Africa… somewhere with a really slow pace of life, where schedules and calendars are ideas but not necessities, and I’m just living life. This wont be something I can experience forever, one of these days I’m going to have to get a real job, and I’ll work 9-5 and I wont be able to experience the mid-day hikes I enjoy right now, but that’s later… and this is now. And while I’m here, now, I’m going to enjoy it, and I will do my best not to take it for granted.
What are you taking for granted in your life today? What is your heart replenisher and rejuvenator? I challenge you to find out what that is for you, and dive into it this week, and next week…. and a few weeks from now, let me know how it’s changed you. Let me know what you learn about yourself.