Yesterday was an amazing first day. Type-A, always-going, ADD and highly extroverted people like me require a certain ‘detox’ in order to really take an honest break. I can’t do that at home. I have to go away. At home, I always feel there is something to do – something calling to me. Bills, chickens, grass to mow, beds to weed and other landscaping stuff. Right now, just thinking about the stuff that’s accumulated under the carport (the place looks a little like Sanford and Sons), my big freezer needs to be defrosted, the pond pump quit running, the dryer vent needs to be replaced…it all calls to me. Going away allows me to relax because I cannot do those things.
Other things are a little harder. I have internet through my mobile hotspot, so not checking email requires discipline. I confess, I checked once already. Being tethered to the world is awful convenient, but it also becomes a sort of addiction. “Hi, I’m Brian and I’m a….” What do we call it? Connection-aholic? Email-aholic isn’t it, because there’s more than email. How about Smartphone-aholic? Tether-holic? I don’t know the word, but I do know the addiction – and I have it. And I bet a bunch of folks around me have it, too. Checking email is like looking at your to-do-list, because it’s filled with explicit and implicit things that must be done. Not necessarily by me, of course, but nevertheless, my mind makes its way through the maze of all the things that need to happen for this project to be a success, that ministry to be fully funded, that person to be faithfully equipped. “Do they know that they need to….” “Did anyone tell them to be careful of the….” Checking Facebook is like that, too.
Still, even though I’ve still got access, going away is a major plus. I’m less tempted in a far-off place, a peaceful environment. So, I have to separate myself. And that’s what the Lilly Foundation grant allowed me to do. They gave me enough money to really go away – and mostly stay away – for three months. This week, we came to the mountains – Susan’s favorite place to go. And I kind of like it, too.
We went for a 4 hour hike yesterday in a remote place in the middle of the wilderness and didn’t see anybody for the first 2 & ½ hours. The whole time, we only saw 3 other hikers. We took a few breaks, this is what it looked like:
And check out this view from the desk in my makeshift study this morning:
Yesterday, Susan and I read some of the Gospel of John to each other. We’ll do that every day through that book and all three of the Letters of John. And we started reading together John Grisham’s book The Litigators. That also helps me detox – read a fiction book is a great way for me to break the cycle of craziness I had built into my life. Today, we’ll continue those and we’ll start reading Replenish: Leading from a Healthy Soul, by Lance Witt.
I have so much to say. Might even have to post more than once a day sometimes.
So grateful to be given this gift of time. See you tomorrow.