On our summer road trip, we naturally made quite a few pit stops. The origin of that term has to do with the center pit around a race track, where cars would periodically leave the race to refuel and otherwise be serviced.
Most of our pit stops were similar. We needed fuel, too. We needed to take on and release water. We needed to stretch aching muscles that had been constrained to one position for too long. We weren’t trying to make a better time than those around us (as I stated in my reflections last week!) but we did have a schedule to keep, places to be, and things to do.
I think the pit stop I most need right now is a retreat. I need time to get off the race track and slow down enough to refuel, spiritually. I had some retreat-type moments on this road trip, when things slowed down and I was able to sit and look out across a pond or meadow and be present to the gift of the moment. Those moments have their place—as do pit stops during the race—but I also think I need to take some time away from the race track itself.
That’s one of the challenges of being a solopreneur. For six years now, I’ve been in charge of my work, my business, my schedule and work commitments. It’s “all on me,” and that’s quite a load to bear. I’m not complaining—I have no interest in returning to employee status!—but there are very real trade-offs. One of those is being available to clients, even while traveling. It’s intentional, and it also changes the character of the traveling itself, in small but important ways.
I returned from the road trip determined to make scheduling a retreat a priority—although I haven’t managed to schedule it yet. I realize I’m thinking of this retreat as being less like a pit stop and more like an overhaul. I need a chance to get everything checked out rather than just putting a patch on what’s malfunctioning enough to gain attention.
Are you relying on pit stops to get through life? When’s the last time you gave three full days, or even a week, entirely over to God? Could you make a commitment to doing that sometime before the end of 2018?
Recently I spent four days at St. John’s University, taking a class called “Passions and Prayer,” attending liturgies, reading, looking at art, making new friends, enjoying the land and the lakes. What a refreshing retreat it was. Shirin, may your retreat–wherever you take it, whatever you do or don’t do during your time away–be a comparable time of renewal for you.
Thank you, Rachel! I’ve actually just spent a few hours looking at places where I might go on retreat…lots of fun to look and imagine and now will take them to prayer…. I’m so glad your time was refreshing and blessed….