It was quite a few years ago that I came up with a little formula: change of pace + change of place = change of perspective. That formula certainly worked it's magic on the Inca Trail. Thought I'd share one of the life-changing lessons.
I've really been struggling with the pace of life the last few months. Between pastoring, writing, and speaking I feel stretched in three directions. I'm certainly not complaining because I love all three and feel called to all three. But none of those things are as important to me as my family. I often feel like I'm juggling too many balls in the air or playing catch-up. So I think I need to make some mid-course corrections. And I think I needed to hike the Inca Trail to come to terms with that.
During our hike, we hit some parts of the trail that were a vertical ascent for several hours at 45 degree angles. And I learned a little trick that helped me with extreme ascents. Our fearless leader, Joel Malm, taught us the rest step. You take a step, pause, then take another step. It slows you down a little, but it also helps you pace yourself. And it keeps you from getting wiped out on the ascents. If you know me you know that I give everyone nicknames! So I nicknamed Joel "the pacemaker."
I don't think I could have learned such a valuable lesson about pacing in any other way. If you pace yourself right, you can actually enjoy the ascent and you're not exhausted when you get there. Isn't that true in life? I'm so used to pushing myself. And there is a time to push yourself. But I need to learn to pace myself. And I know I need a change of pace.
I'll take a sabbatical in August which will help. But I'm thinking about some other fundamental adjustments. I often get a couple hundred emails a day. I could literally answer email all day every day. And I know I'm not alone! I think I need to find a different system to help manage the flow of information and decision-making. Praying for discernment to make decisions that will help me incorporate a rest step.
Ah, I feel better already.