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Time to reflect

August 8, 2022

I am writing this from Chicago sitting in the basement of a friends home. Bethany and I have known each other for 15+ years. We both love Asset Based Community Development work and over the years have learned together, held workshops together, lamented and cried together, laugh so hard that we could not move, have seen many cities and walked life together. I need people like Bethany in my life. I need these deep conversations that make the think beyond my knowledge and question my own assumptions.

This is a special trip for me. It is a time where I can step out of the fullness of directing the work of LifeLine CDC and sit, learn, be quiet, reimagine, refocus. So this trip is doing that. Learning, being with friends, and then 3 days in a retreat center where I am by myself to read, walk, think, dream, imagine and deeply reconnect with God.

I just finished attending a conference that invigorated me, challenged me, and reminded me why I do what I do. At the conference it was said “Every time we say ‘we know God’ we control God. That what we know we control!” It made me think on how, as a person of faith, I am sure I have put God in His ‘place’, reading the Bible through my lenses of interpretation and just assume that God works in certain ways. (I know, I should know better). I also rewatched “The Shack” and was reminded that I can never fit God into my idea of who God is, that God is so much bigger!

In my time with Bethany and her family, I get to reconnect with a dear friend, see how we have grown and changed over the years and just do a deep ‘check in’.
At the retreat center I have time to be quiet, read, dream and imagine the next years of LifeLine CDC.
Then as a cherry on the top Jim flies out to meet me in Michigan for a family wedding where we get to see his family we have not seen in years.

We all need times to be with friends who can help us along the way. We all need times where we can step back (step out of the rat race of life) and be quiet, rethink, reimagine, recenter. We all need times with family to remember where we came from and the journey behind us and before us.

In a world that always runs and we have to be ‘on’ at all times, these times of getting away for me is life giving and precious. I need them to be reminded on what matters. I need them to have time to let me brain, my heart, my soul wonder. I need these times to refocus, and reimagine the world I want to help create.

Yesterday I sat at the kitchen table doing crafts and games with the kids and I saw all the ‘gadgets’ they have… Alexa ( who played the ‘clean up song’ when it was the right time), the fridge that was Wi-Fi enabled, the computers that made life easier, movable picture galleries etc.I asked Anthony (B’s husband) about it. He said, ’Time is the only commodity that you can never get back. So, if the fridge can do things I don’t have to do, I have more time for the things only I can do.’

In a world that wants to keep us busy, make sure that you use your time the best way possible, it is the only thing that will never come back.
Spending time to learn, be with friends, be quiet and reflect, and celebrate, is my way of setting up the next season of life to make sure I use the rest of my life the best way possible and redeem my time well.
If you want some ideas on how to have more balance or just want an accountability partner, connect with me and we journey together.

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