I have a confession to make: I have been in a funk since the year started. This winter has been harsh and difficult. Two of my grandmothers and an aunt died in January and February. I was very close with them. The budget year and program year ramp up for the church, while nature wreaks havoc and complicates all plans. If December is the Celebration, January and February are one long Hangover (figuratively of course). I'm painting a pretty bleak picture, but it is what's true for me right now. My soul longs for green grasses and trees, sunny blue sky, bright flowers, happy birds, and active bees.
My own struggle causes me to wonder: How do we stay inspired in the face of challenging circumstances?
Inspire means to breathe into, from the Latin "in" + "spirare" (Not to be confused with perspire, meaning to breathe through from the Latin "per" + "spirare" or respire, meaning to breathe again from the Latin "re" + "spirare"). Breath is the source of life, from the first inhale at our birth to the final exhale at our death (expire, meaning to breathe out also from Latin). As one of our body's most basic functions, it is absolutely essential.
Outside today, it hurts to breathe in the bitterly cold air. The wind whips at us, taking our breath away. We go inside and the air is dry from the workings of the furnace. How are we ever supposed to catch our breath in these environments?
Some people spend time in a hot tub or sauna. Others travel away to warmer climates - and don't come back (tempting, right!?). Perhaps there is a beautiful indoor space in town where you can go and feel relief.
The physical toll winter takes on our bodies has direct consequences for our souls. If we can't catch our breath physically, it becomes more difficult to catch our breath spiritually. It takes a lot of effort for me to find the beauty in the ice and snow.
Last week I hit a breaking point. I finally accepted that there was nothing I could do in KC to shake this funk. I started thinking about where I could go to be warm. Finances dictated that I'd have to go to a city where I could stay with friends or family. The number of rewards points I had put a limit on how much the air fare could cost. After looking at all the different factors, I booked flights to Los Angeles, CA to visit my sister-in-law, her husband, and their two daughters.
I will be gone February 28th through March 4th. Tony Beyer from Open Table will be teaching during my absence March 3rd. I will miss being with you that Sunday, but I will come back refreshed and ready to continue the good work Broadway is doing in our community.
This is your invitation to do the thing your heart longs for. Open your imagination, think creatively, find a way. Breathe deep.