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What Renews You?

A refreshing swim on a hot summer day can provide renewed energy and relief. Areas of our country have been suffering under dangerous sweltering temperatures. Other parts of the country have endured catastrophic rains and flooding and are now faced with a muddy mess to clean up. Environmental extremes. Indicative of life. Pressures and pleasures. Rigor and relief. When life is out of balance and depleting stress is all there is, what can we do to be renewed?

Many of us turn to nature. A walk in the woods. A few hours fishing in a stream. A picnic in a park. A vigorous hike up a mountain with a panoramic view. Birding in a protected area. Gardening in our own backyard. There is something reassuring about creation's unspoken promise to us that we'll be supported, provided for, and even wowed as we sojourn on earth. The heat will break. The rains will cease. The sun rises and sets with comforting rhythm. The planet spins silently in space and holds all of life, both great and small, by the unseen anchor of gravity.

Others of us seek different sensory experiences in pursuit of renewal. A therapeutic massage. A camping excursion with a group of friends. Yoga. A quiet afternoon with a good book. Power naps. Shopping. A leisurely stroll through an art gallery. Solitude shared with a favorite musical instrument. Whether we understand ourselves as introverts or extroverts, it's important to recognize that we all run out of steam at some point. We all need to figure out what we can do to be renewed.

The idea of renewal is pretty simple really. When I was young, our mother took us to the public library on a regular basis. If I checked out too many enticing books and didn't get them all read before the date they were due back, they could be renewed. I got to keep them a little longer. They could remain in my possession so that I could enjoy them fully. What a gift! So too with the precious life entrusted to us. So, figure out what renews you and do it as often as necessary, so the world gets to have you around a little longer.

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