3 weeks and 2 days to go. As the time nears to set off for the first few days of the pilgrimage I can feel a picture emerging of the first few days in this new reality. Actually, I don’t know whether this picture will be a few days, a few hours or a few weeks. What I do know is that for as long as it takes I have to let my soul determine the pacing of this pilgrimage rather than some predetermined schedule.
I can feel a deep tiredness in my bones–the result of spending the last few years recovering from a divorce, digging deep to make sure that I survived financially, and that my children survived emotionally. In addition, I am one of those pastor types who can not help himself but to pour himself into the work of the church and involvement in the betterment of the community. I love what I do. One problem, though. I have a tendency to pour myself out until I have nothing left to give. Pacing has never been one of my strong suits.
I have this image of the first few hours heading south on the I-205 MUP (multi-use path) of my body literally beginning to shake. Something about being able to set my own pace and determine how far and how fast I want to go gives freedom to a sudden rush of anxious relief. It feels very much like that sensation one gets when responding to a crisis. During the crisis one performs brilliantly and as soon as the crisis is over, the person often collapses and is swept up in a flood of nerves. I don’t think I am going to collapse. But, I do see myself slowing the pace down dramatically, wonderfully and just in time.
I wonder what will happen. Will I fall into this new pace for just as long as I need it to recover and then return to my usual ambitious overly-scheduled life? Will I discover a new pace of life that grabs me and won’t let me go? I don’t know. What I do know is that I am going to let my soul take the lead and let my schedule follow along.