Fellow Runners: Stop and Be.

Many of us have trained ourselves from our early adolescence to try to fill each “unforgiving minute / with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,” to borrow Rudyard Kipling’s phrase. And, boy, some of us are running hard.

We’ve got to run through the shower, grab some breakfast, run out the door so we won’t run into traffic, run off some copies so that we can run a meeting, then we’ve got to dash off some emails so that we can run a few ideas by colleagues. Meanwhile, we’ll run over our calendars to see what’s coming up for the next few days and see if we can grab some time to run see a friend who’s in the hospital. Finally, we’ll run on home and maybe, before bed, run through our Netflix queue…

But we know that, when we run our lives this way, we run the risk of losing everything we most value while chasing a cloud of urgent trivialities.

Stopping is hard, but sometimes we have to stop.

We have trained ourselves to be many things: good conversationalists, snappy texters, fun folks to go out with, tireless volunteers, charming hosts and hostesses, solid friends, intelligent colleagues, outstanding in our fields, gentle fathers, intrepid mothers, steadfast partners…

We can be a lot. And, God knows, sometimes, we are a lot. Maybe even too much.

We are often many things—mostly good—but sometimes we just need to be.

There are many wonderful aspects of being on the parish retreat at Kanuga: the chance to renew old friendships and make new ones. The chance to wander around and find glory in the grounds laid out more than a century ago by parishioner George Stephens and landscape architect John Nolen a decade before they collaborated on the Myers Park neighborhood. The vacation indulgence of someone else cooking and washing up. A subtle, spiritually enriching program, this year focusing on the psalms. A fun evening of dancing and fellowship. Fires. Prayers. Porches. Hiking. Toast.

But, what sets the parish retreat at Kanuga apart from any other experience we might have at our favorite vacation destination or from staying back here is the simple invitation to stop and be.

Simple. Difficult to achieve here. Easier to attain there. Please join us.

Chris Cudabac, Kanuga Planning Team Member