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February 5, 2024

We went camping this last weekend. Last year we got rained out several times, so this year, we planned ahead, reserved the space and were excited to disconnect... only to find out that the "Pineapple Express" was going to hit where we were. No problem... we had extra tarps, and were ready. Arriving at the campground was exciting. There were only a few people and we had a quiet corner all to ourselves. We set up tent, set up the rain tarp above it and looked forward to a few days of quiet reading, planning, and relaxing. But by day 2 we knew we were over our heads, rains are fine, but the high winds were just too much. So we came home early.

As I was reflecting on the people we met, I realized how much variety there is. The camp host, who became a widower 2 years ago, but they had a 'bucket list' of being camp hosts in their favorite camp site. So now, he fulfills his wife's wishes and spent 6 months as a host. The person who pulled up in a van with darkened windows who we never got to see. The family who had a difficult time getting their trailer set up right. The man who was either struggling with PTSD or he was drunk early in the morning who would yell out loud and have music on that could be heard everywhere in the camp. The lone tree trimmer who did an amazing job in cutting some dangerous branches. So many people, so many stories. Campgrounds are places where people find quiet as they step out of their busy lives, where people come together to renew friendships, the place where we can find ourselves again. For me, it is time where I can step back and look at the big picture of things, stepping out of the business as a director, coach, mentor, faith community member, student, wife, community member, and realign my inner compass. This is the time when I learn about myself and what drives me, learn how I handle silence, rediscover why I do what I do.

We all should take time where we step back, where we have time to be out of the buzzle of the day-to-day and find ourselves again. When was the last time we sat in silence for an extended period of time? When was the last time we were without our phones for a day? When was the last time, we reconnected with our soul? Our souls are not made to the business of our world. We need rest. I think we need to have more Sabbath again, a day set aside for rest, to reset our senses, prayer, to reconnect with our creator, and worship, a way to see how small we are and how big God is.

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