Well, hello agin!
Over the last 5 weeks I was on a break—I took some of that time off of work, and I intentionally didn’t write on my blog. In fact, I spent as much time as possible doing things like hanging out with my family, processing my thoughts, reading, journaling and praying. I’ve been preparing myself for a task to come; in less than 2 weeks I’ll engage an assignment as the Sr. Pastor at The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, CA.
When athletes get ready to go on a long run, they have learned that it’s best to drink plenty of water on the days leading up to the race. This is called “pre-hydration”, and it’s very helpful for the human body to have lots of water in the system before tackling a significant physical endeavor. Some runners make the mistake of trying to get in lots of water right before, or during, the run, but instead of preparing their body for the effort to come, it can either cause painful cramps or go right through the body and get “lost” quickly without the hydration benefit hoped for.
While my running life is less than what I’d like it to be (someday I’ll run that 5k) I have learned some things about getting ready for a new marathon season of my life. I’ve found it’s imperative to quiet my soul before taking on a big task—that I need to “be still before the Lord” before the storm rages all around me. My life needs to be deeply full of the Spirit of God well before I hit my stride, because if I wait until then, it’s too late.
As a leader, pre-hydrating is long-term effective for me. When I was in college, I would sometimes cram for a test the night before it was given. I was a pretty good “crammer”, and I’d usually ace those tests the next day…but 4 days later I would retain almost nothing that I had learned. However, when I studied properly, a little bit at a time, day after day, not only would I do well on the test, but I would remember and apply the material much better, too.
As leaders, we’re not just trying to pass a test, but we want to learn our lessons, too. If you are getting ready to engage a huge effort, do whatever you can to make sure that you are healthy, ready, and filled up well before starting the race. And then, during the run, don’t forget to continue to drink the water of life that fills you and sustains you.