Sabbatical: Week 7

As I cross the halfway mark, I am finding myself at peace.

To be honest, to share this gives me such survivor’s guilt. I can not believe that it has taken 7 weeks to decompress, work through my anxieties, let things out of my control go, genuinely enjoy the moments I find myself in, and sit heavy with my family. What a luxury. Also, what a disaster I ended up being in this last season.

I can not be more thankful for my church to give me this opportunity and long to be faithful in caring for my body and soul so I can be the pastor, even more, the follower of Christ that our church deserves. I am continually humbled by God’s overwhelming grace, and mercy extended towards me. And instead of feeling guilty about it, or sheepish about the amount that God has to heap on me, I am trying to live in response to it. Gratitude, and heaps of grace and mercy towards others.

I know this all sounds like christiany gobbledygook. But that is why I am processing this on my blog and not in real life, in front of people. With a heart of gratitude, I wanted to reflect back on this last weekend and a real highlight.

This last week I ran the Ragnar race. This is a team relay race with teams of 12 running 200 miles from San Francisco to Napa. And this race got to be an excellent marker for me.

The Ragnar race is one of my favorite events because it is all the excitement of a race, but instead of being over in a couple of hours, it lasts for 30+ hours. I love that I get to journey together in a van of 6 people encouraging each other to run our best, to have meals together, and try to catch little bits of sleep here and there, all as we leapfrog the other van, slowly making our way to Napa.

I loved being with my team, and I loved the challenge.

Getting my body back in shape after my knee injury (almost 4 years ago) has been a crusher. I am not naturally athletic, I have a family DNA of slow metabolism, I love to eat, and body issues on top of all that. It took almost 10 years to get me to be in such good shape at 40. Then, I broke my knee, and the wheels came off. I have tried, in fits and starts, to get back to my former body and have failed. But this race gave me a new data point. I ran hard, and I ran well. And the road back is a road marked with too many false peaks. Instead, I need to be faithful daily with what is in front of me. And the Ragnar allowed me to do just that.

My two wins:

1) All the slow and steady work of the last few months paid off. I was able to run my legs well. In fact, I ran them faster than I expected. Even my previous leg that, at the moment, almost did me in, I ran faster than my usual runs. I have some new usual paces for my runs and could not be more happy with my progress as a slow jogger.

2) But even more than the personal goals, and desire to contribute well with my times, the Ragnar was just another lesson in the giant lesson of this Sabbatical and this season, which is to sit heavy and be present.

Even though I don’t emote much, I do have a full heart towards people. But because I get all up in my head, I often get ahead of the people I am with and onto the next thing mentally, instead of soaking up the moment. I have always sucked at this, but am working hard on it. And the Ragnar allowed me to spend 30+ hours in the moment.

I loved the people I got to run with. We had so many fun moments, as well as a few really sweet and heartfelt moments. I am thankful for everyone on my team and thankful for the experience. I look forward to taking the lessons of Ragnar into the rest of Sabbatical, and into my real life in a few more weeks. I am going to keep working hard to run my race. (Not your race) And I am going to keep working on sitting heavy and enjoy the people I am with. These are simple and not profound, but I am convinced will be game changers for me, my family and my church if I can master them.

Talk to you next week!