High Energy, and Resting in the Moment

In Alcove House in Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

In Alcove House in Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

Some people tell me I’m high energy.  I’m not sure I agree with that – it’s pretty normal to have the energy to get up in the morning, drive a couple of hours to a trailhead, hike 8 miles, make supper, and then take an evening stroll of a mile or two to see the sunset, right?  You sleep well, but, hey, you get to see so much throughout the day!

Apparently, that’s not normal.  It is normal within much of my group – we’re all high energy, apparently, even without a cup of coffee in hand!

Water bottles ready for the hike in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Water bottles ready for the hike in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Having that much energy is nice most of the time.  It pushes us toward active lifestyles and we can get a lot accomplished (most of the time!)  We climb mountains, split and stack wood to keep us warm in the winter, shovel snow off the driveway, canoe on the lake, and take Sunday afternoon hikes in nearby parks, not to mention regular work, meal prep, devotional-writing, and housework.

Just a short walk from Wheeler Peak, New Mexico's high point

Just a short walk from Wheeler Peak, New Mexico’s high point

But while energy is a useful thing, it can lead to a go-go-go attitude – “We need to keep moving!”  And without becoming tired quickly, we’re more likely to keep going instead of stop and rest.

Pause and enjoy the cliffs along the Alcove House Trail in Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

Pause and enjoy the cliffs along the Alcove House Trail in Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

There’s nothing wrong with racing up to the top of the mountain, taking in the view, and then racing back down to the van to go and climb a second mountain.  Depending on the situation, that may be the best thing anyone could do.  But in the middle of the doing, there has to be resting, too.

Kicking back and enjoying the view on Bean Peak in the Teanaway region of Washington

Kicking back and enjoying the view on Bean Peak in the Teanaway region of Washington

We weren’t created just to keep going and going and going forever.  We were created to work (Genesis 2:15), but we were also created to rest from our work – even God rested from the creating He did when He made the earth (Genesis 2:3).

 

“Don’t you know that he [God] enjoys giving rest to those he loves?” (Psalm 127:2 MSG).

Mount Rainier and Mount Adams from the Cooper Spur Trail, Oregon

Mount Rainier and Mount Adams from the Cooper Spur Trail, Oregon

When I get out in the wilderness, there’s a temptation to push on and see as much as possible.  Energy allows, so why not go on to the next peak, take the longer trail, see the lake as well as the pass?  (After all, the extra part of the hike will make a great blog post!)

Views from the peak above Electric Pass, Colorado - after all, once you're at the pass, you might as well scramble up the peak...

Views from the peak above Electric Pass, Colorado – after all, once you’re at the pass, you might as well scramble up the peak…

But I’m learning the need for rest – or at least the need to slow down.  To take the trail a little slower, to rest a bit longer at the top.  Not just for physical rest (it’s good to give our bodies a break in the middle of the hike), but to let our spirits rest a bit, too, and not be so fixated on the next goal that we can’t take in what God is trying to speak to us in that moment on the hike.

Peaks and domes from Sentinel Dome in Yosemite National Park, California

Peaks and domes from Sentinel Dome in Yosemite National Park, California

Even high energy people can learn to stop and take in the moment, to not push beyond until they have lived in the moment first.  Sure, the mountain peak is calling.  But we can live in the moments up until the moment when we finally reach the summit.