NOTE: Pastor Tim will be on his Renewal Leave from June 6 – September 19, 2022.

One day in the middle of the COVID era, Micah and I had a day to ourselves. The weather that day was rainy and incredibly smokey due to the fires in Pacific Northwest. At a loss of what to do for a whole day given that scenario, we decided to pull out a book that had been given to us by a family friend. It is called “Adventure Challenge: Family Edition.” (I highly recommend this activity book; find out more about it at The premise of the book is that you choose an adventure knowing nothing about it other than the title and a few generic details (e.g., do this activity outside / inside; you’ll need a car to do this activity; this activity may cost some money; etc.). But, importantly, you don’t know the details of the adventure until you pick one and scratch off the square with the description and rules. Once you scratch off the square, you are committed. You have to do that activity.

The activity that Micah chose that day directed us to get $10 in quarters then to drive around to find at least three different places with claw machines and take turns trying to nab a toy. I hadn’t played with one of those claw machines in years. They were always such a waste of money in my estimation. But this adventure demanded that we do it. So, we did. And that adventure turned out to be SO MUCH FUN! Not so much because we actually did win a couple times, but because it was an adventure that we got to do together. We got to hunt for claw machines in and near Durango. We got to chat with random people around town about their experience with claw machines, and whether they knew where to find one. We got to drive around town, listening to music of our choosing and singing along loudly and dramatically. And, of course, we got to actually play with these machines and watch with disbelief as it dragged a toy out of the pile of stuffed animals! It was great!

One of the things that I am looking forward to most about my Renewal Leave is all of the time that I don’t have scheduled and pre-planned. As procrastinator-y as I am, I have to admit that most of my life is pretty scheduled. I have definite patterns and routines that I follow most days. My calendar is a Godsend, helping me to know where to be and when. So, for these upcoming fifteen weeks of Renewal Leave, I’m looking forward to more impromptu adventures and exploring and learning. I’m looking forward to more adventures like the one that I had with Micah, that are unexpected and gloriously refreshing. Those are experiences, I have found, that refresh my spirit.

If you’d like to know more about my upcoming Renewal Leave and how you might use the same time as a way to rejuvenate and renew your spirit, please come talk to me. I’d love to share more details with you.


Pastor Tim