Greetings, readers, friends, peers, and participants! I have missed you! But prior to sharing some insight into the past few weeks and foreshadowing a bit of what’s next, allow me to extract some wisdom from current, current events…
Roger Federer, one of most talented persons to ever play the sport of tennis, celebrated his 36th birthday during my recent respite. Currently contending in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open, in July, Federer was crowned the oldest open era winner of Wimbledon (the “open era” began in 1968). If Federer wins this weekend’s championship, he will also become the oldest winner at Flushing Meadows.
To win at 36 in professional tennis is highly unusual. Also seemingly unusual, is the discernment Federer has so keenly displayed — a discernment available (to us all, if we take it) via age. In an excellent editorial by contributor Bruce Y. Lee in Forbes this summer, Lee noted what was unique about Federer’s success. Unlike the professionals who enroll in each and every tournament, Federer decided much of last year to rest. He wasn’t hurt; he took time off — despite being ostensibly healthy.
Lee continued with the following:
“Rest and recovery are an important and often overlooked part of sports. Of course, if you are resting all the time, you aren’t really playing the sport… But constant practice, training and competition are not good either. Anything in excess, including sushi and baby animals, is bad. Always being on the go doesn’t give your body time to replenish its glycogen stores, repair damage such as small muscle tears and rebuild into a stronger and more flexible version. Injuries tend to occur when you are fatigued not only because of wear and tear, but also because you tend to lose focus, concentration and good form.”
Something in Lee’s words struck me this summer (… no, not that I believe Roger and I have so much in common in our obvious, mutual athletic prowess). Rather, I am learning that rest is good. Rest is necessary. And intentional rest is wise. In fact, if we are not intentional in employing individual rest, then the good Lord seems to allow for some creative way — like it or not — of slowing us down. Yes, it is wise to be intentional in our rest so that we don’t lose our focus, concentration and good form.
I suppose some from afar would look at my last few weeks and ponder where the rest was. True. My best estimates are that in the past 6-7 weeks, I drove approximately 5,914 miles, sold a house, moved four states away, dropped two kids off at college, ensured one medium-sized dog survived, and witnessed one son eat both frog legs and escargot. (Ok, so that last one isn’t so relevant… just kind of fun to say.)
To say the least, my season was busy; the above was on top of the other commitments already a part of my day. I needed rest. I needed not just a time for crashing on the couch. I needed time to slow down… rest and reflect… be refreshed… both feast and fast… get a sense of divine direction… be still… quiet… gently ask where are those pockets where I still need to grow. The intentional rest thus allowed for such a time.
And so let me first offer a humble thank you… to our once again excellent Guest Writers in our annual series. Thank you for covering so much so well! Whether I shared your opinion or not was secondary to the respect lavished upon the expression of your perspective; that is something we all could get so better at — and dare I say, should get so better at. I thoroughly enjoyed processing each of your perspectives.
Thank you, also, to you, my respected readers, friends, peers, and participants. I appreciate that you have embraced others who prioritize respectful communication. That is a gift you give to me. That is a gift we give to one another.
And so now ’tis time to get started. I mean it… I have so much to say!! I want to talk about Charlottesville, Harvey, ESPN, and CBS News. I want to talk about controlling the historical narrative, racial reconciliation, and how disaster can be an opportunity. I want to talk about finger pointing and healing… authentic healing. I also want to talk about virtue and who has it and the penetration of pluralism in our culture. Yes, so much to say. So many things we need to talk about.
So let’s start on Thursday. Topic?
I drove approximately 5,914 miles; remember?
(Looks like we’re back in good form.)