Pastor's Pondering - July 23, 2021
Dear Friends –
Imagine finishing a marathon. You’ve been running, possibly for multiple hours. You’ve breathed through some pains along the route, coached yourself through some uphill battles, achieved and lost a runners high a few times along the way, and there in front of you is the finish line: the photographers at the ready, the person handing out medals on ribbons prepping yours for around your neck. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, ready for the finish line. As you cross, there are cheers and shouts; you’re smiling and amazed you made it. Amid the congratulations, while you catch your breath and guzzle some water, someone walks up to you, and offers to take your number off your back. You pause while they unhook safety pins, basking in finish line glory.
Then, the person pats you on the back, “Your new number is all set,” and points ahead. “Go ahead and start the next race.” The next race? You just finished. “Go on,” they nudge you toward another start line. “Marathon number 2, coming up.”
For those who have battled out the marathon that has been pandemic (special shout out to health care workers, teachers, parents, essential workers, organizational leaders, and solo households), switching gears back to “normal,” the rapid-fire pace of packed calendars and results-driven achievement, might feel like stepping from one marathon to another. I encourage you to keep weighing priorities and continue building in margins and time for rest. Remember how much we enjoyed games again? Dinner at the table? Long walks in nature? Sunday mornings together for worship and check ins from our church family? Those got use through the first marathon, and they can continue to sustain us in the next if we keep space for them as we pace out the next run.
Grace and peace,
PS: I have never run a marathon and in fact despise running, so all analogies are what I imagine in my head – runners, forgive me if I goofed. Also, this post was inspired by pastor blogger Jenny Smith