“My church is the mountains” is a phrase I hear often. Sometimes I’m the one saying it. And I fully support taking the time to hike or bike or otherwise play outside to find spiritual connection.
But sometimes the spirit is lost. Sometimes outdoor adventure becomes a logistical ordeal; sometimes it becomes mere competition; sometimes we forget to dwell in awe — even if just for a moment — despite our incredible surroundings. Noticing the Spirit takes intention.
And so we’re putting the spiritual intention into mountain biking. We’ll take the time to soak up the beauty around us. We’ll take the time to notice our breathing. We’ll take the time to notice our hearts pumping the vitality of life throughout our bodies. We’ll even take time to admire the human ingenuity to allows us to be there.
If you’d like to join us, here’s a registration link. We’d love to notice your spirit there.
I wouldn’t say that attending summer camp is a pre-requisite for leading a life of meaning. But if I trace my life backward, many, many meaningful experiences have their roots in my days at summer camp.
I actually hated being a camper. Maybe that’s too strong. But I was homesick, I didn’t make friends easily, I rope-burned my hands (and was too ashamed to seek first aid), and the theology was a little intimidating (I didn’t use the word “theology” at the time, in case you’re wondering).
But when my brother phoned me early one summer to inform me of two things: 1. that he had had to fire 4 counsellors for smoking at their cabins and 2. I would taking one of their places, I hadn’t foreseen the new trajectory before me.
Portaging canoes is where I discovered the depth of my strength and endurance — a discovery that would serve me well playing football, running marathons and competing in triathlons…and sometimes enduring board meetings.
The high ropes course is where I learned to confront my fear — I often draw from that experience when venturing into unknowns situations.
Playing the role of camp counsellor is how I discovered my leadership potential — which, of course, is a work in progress.
I shudder to think which of my capacities might have remain covered to this day had I said “no” to my brother on the phone that day. Fortunately, I said a hesitant “yes” and that has brought incredible meaning to my life to date.
And now to plan that next canoe trip…