Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Savoring Pace

If you’ve ever watched a 10K or marathon, you can pick out the runners that look comfortable at the pace they’re running…and those who are about to toss their cookies. The discipline of running has taught me how to pace myself – to run at a strong, consistent pace for long periods of time. There are also moments in races for which energy must be saved – an upcoming hill or for sprinting the final 400 yards. The more you run, the more you know your capabilities and how much energy to exert to maximize your running efficiency.

In his book Rest in the Storm, author Kirk Jones introduces the concept of a “Savoring Pace.” Just like those runners who seem to be enjoying their pace, he urges us to monitor our pace of life. “The violence of overload and hurry…is a socially acceptable form of brutality.” In the name of progress many of us push the limits of what our bodies are designed for. We end up missing out on important conversations, our kids’ landmarks, and people in need. Is that really progress? He himself had to slowdown over 10 years ago. He adjusted his brutal schedule, implementing the art of saying, “No.” Since then he has been able to live at a savoring pace. He works hard; then he rests and plays. In slowing down, his quality of life has improved and he now savors the little things in life.

What is your pace? Are you on a treadmill without an off button? Do you look like the person in the marathon who’s running too fast, about to hit the proverbial wall? Or are you running the race talking with the runners next to you, waving to the fans, and picking up those who fall? The clock on the finish line may not be as low as you’d hoped, but don’t miss the enjoyment of the race itself and the opportunities it provides.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Big Voice, Small Audience

Have you ever heard of John M. Perkins? Probably not. At the least, I’d call him a prophet: announcing God’s desires to the people. He has been on the forefront of racial reconciliation and inner city development among other things. Today I had the last minute opportunity to hear him speak at a small church in Seattle.

He’s almost 80 years old, but a powerful speaker. He preaches the Gospel: God’s desire and plan to reconcile with humanity. And he speaks to the 21st century American. “How can we pray for another expensive car when 30,000 children die everyday across the world? We pray for our ‘cups to overflow’ but we’re carrying around cups larger than we need.”

“We have to civilize our leaders.” The politicians have lost touch. They’re in it for themselves. And we’re too afraid to give up our slice of the pie – even though others hardly have crumbs. How can we object to more taxes when 40 million people don’t have healthcare? Will we have to apologize to God for letting people die and spending our time accumulating? He is so passionate about the poor and marginalized, as evidenced in his tearfully closing.

After his talk I went to my car and took the 40 minute drive home. I couldn’t listen to the radio. I couldn’t fill my mind with anything else. He wants me to give away more of my money, to live less comfortably? He wants me to spend my life for others? No wonder the audience was so small. Anyone who hears that message probably isn’t going to return to his next speaking engagement, let alone bring their friends. Besides, the NFL draft is on tonight. I’ve got other things to think about.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Love the Celtics?

So Meris was watching basketball with me the other night – “Which team do you like, Dad?” It was the National Championship. I didn’t much care, but it was fun to watch the game. For a few years now our kids have tried to jump on the bandwagon of whatever team Dad’s watching. Five years ago I taught Meris to yell, “Touchdown!” while watching USC in the Rose Bowl. Last year it was, “Hook ‘em Horns” in Austin (of course not rooting too hard for the team that beat USC four years ago). This year you could hear my then 3 year old yell, “Go Theahawks!” That’s Seahawks for those of you who don’t have a child with a lisp.

Even this weekend we watched the Masters. “Who’s that?” That’s Phil. “Who’s that?” It’s Ernie (Els). “Who’s that?” It’s Tiger.

Rewinding to last week in the college basketball game. “Which team do you like?” Hmmm. Butler? I’ve never even heard of Butler. Duke? They always win. Oh, I don’t care. I don’t like either team. I just like to watch.

15 minutes later, my smug daughter comes downstairs with a 3 by 3 inch post it. I read the words she has written: “Jesus says like one another.” I glare at her. She thinks she’s a comedian. She can’t stop laughing. Do as I say, not as I do is a common parental excuse. I guess I have to like Butler and Duke. I guess as a Dodger fan (and a bandwagon Mariner fan) I have to like the Yankees. I guess I have to like…the (gulp) Celtics. Really? I don’t think so. I’ll take my chances here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Road Trip

Easter road trip
Weekly blog hiatus
Three days long
Three word entry
Texas' Sonic reunion
Tator tot madness
Large cherry limeade
Kids in frenzy
Tacoma Narrows Bridge
incredible Crescent Lake
Forks - Twilight home
Teenage girl hysteria
My wife too
Where is Edward?
Where is Bella?
Filmed in Oregon?
Stop crying, dear
Resume trip, please?
Miniature log cabin
Ocean side trip
LaPush sans vampires
No werewolves either
Breathtaking rugged coast
45 degrees max
No suntan possible
Swimming? Death wish!
MTV parties absent
Impromptu sand castle
Olympic National Park
Beautiful nature hike
Trees with moss
Crystal clear streams
Actual direct sunlight
Week sans naps
Lots of lattes
Pizza dining disaster
Ticked off Ethiopian
Publicly humiliated parents
Back to motel
Insult to injury
Eldest child vomits
Youngest's diaper explosion
Cabin needs Febreze
Hot springs swim
Stinky sulfur water
Time to return
DVD player rescues
Loudest child sleeps
Sarcastic entry birthed
Home sweet home
Need a vacation
Where are grandparents?