Renewal leave DAY minus ONE
Updated: Feb 16
Renewal Leave Day : minus ONE - 8:48pm
Like the temperature today (-7 º), renewal leave day: #-01 held promise of warmer days, better days in the near future.
What a Great day this has been! I was humbled and honored by DSCC as they surprised me with a renewal leave send off (not quite what we had expected, but wonderful none the less). It was a morning of promise from the increasein attendance to see me one last time before my leave, to the many well wishes we shared and the general sense of warmth felt from the presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst (at -06º we need all the warmth we can get). It truly was a powerful day as we finished worship with my favorite hymn IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL.
I had to laugh as I got home and went to pull into the GreyGoose parking loop this afternoon and found myself stuck in the snow with no traction on the ice underneath. "Was this an omen of what was to come?" I thought. (Ok so maybe I wasn't laughing as I first indicated... just saying"). Finally one of our guests give me a push the last 45 yards. (It was a return favor from me pushing him out a couple days back.). What a way to start!
One of my Renewal Leave bucket-list items in the books! All my life I've wanted to learn how to cross country (XC) ski. Well, 2 years ago, in the summer, I found a pair of skis and poles in a consignment store with my name on them for a measily $30. I couldn't resist. This past fall I ordered boots to fit the bindings.
I have to say it's been quite a challenge. I resemble more a hog on ice than a man on skis, but persistance and practice 30 minutes a day fit the bill for me and I can tell I'm less of a hog each day. Those 30 minutes are physically, painstakingly challenging as every muscle in my body fights and strains just to stay on my skis. As I struggle on the outside, my inner self is free to pray that I don't fall, along with other mindful wanderings.
Today's outing: As the cutting -7 º was sharpened by the gentle, but consistant N wind that made it feel much colder, moisture from my working and my breathing quickly formed ice crystals on my lashes and brow as I shuffled along contemplating what the journey ahead would be like. Like skiing, there will be those days when the elephant in me (I've named Bozo) would resist at the thought of bundling up and heading out into the cold on a day when reclining in my chair sounded so much better to Bozo. But as the old saying goes, "Once you start, you're half done." Those 30 minutes I teetered between falling and gliding, shuffling and leaning too far some times as the pursuit for balance seemed mostly to be just out of reach, but not so much as to cause me to eat snow.
I expect this will be like the days to come on my renewal leave (RL). Some days I'll glide along enjoying every minute of the day. Other days it will be all I can do to find the balance I so seek so much in the alone time ahead of me. There will be days when the bitter wind blows and my focus will can go no further than the next shuffle or two just to make progress. Then there will be those days when the sonshine will be so bright that I'll hardly be able to keep my spiritual eyes open as the glory of the Lord is revealed to me in new and powerfully blinding ways.
Either way, this journey will prove to be and adventure indeed. I look forward to the many "awe walks" as I stretch every muscle in my spirit to hear and note the presence of God in my midst. May you find your seek and find is a bright as anticipate mine will be. As we continue with Lent quickly upon us may we find that through it all we can shuffle, glide, and soar through each on our journey to the empty tomb. Remember the goal is not so much the desitantion as it is the journey. Happy gliding my friends. - PJ.