This past weekend I went on a backpacking/camping trip with a bunch of guys from Kairos to the Sespe Creek area in Ventura County. These kinds of trips always amaze me – the times where my pace of life is forcibly slowed down are few and far between. My life typically centers around technology – cars, cell phones, the internet, music, etc. Each of these things has significantly increased the speed at which I live my life.
As we started our hike to the spot where we were going to make camp, I realized that my vision has been blurred by all of this fast-paced technology. When I looked around, all I saw was dry desert. The area we were hiking in had recently been hit by a large fire, and the charred remnants surrounded us. To me it seemed as if the entire area was empty, desolate, and void of life.
But, as we continued to hike, something started to happen. My vision, previously straining to take in infinite amounts of information through limited means, began to slow down. I began to see things that I had completely missed at the beginning of the hike. Amidst the charred remains of trees and brush were shoots of green – new life emerging from the ashes. I began to notice the birds flying overhead, lizards darting between the rocks, and snakes sunning alongside the path.
The more the weekend progressed, the more I began to recognize the life surrounding me. Sitting by a stream I noticed the amazing variety of birds, dragonflies, and various other insects flying everywhere. My previous observation about the area’s desolation radically shifted to recognize that all along there had been signs of life. It just took me a while to unblur my vision and focus on the beauty of the creation around me.
This was kind of a sad realization for me – how often do I miss the brilliance of life that is everywhere around me – whether in nature, relationships with friends and family, etc. – because my vision is focused on a more fast-paced lifestyle?
It gave me a new appreciation for those who have come before me; I may be able to have access to more information, have a more technical understanding of how our world works, etc., but how often do I miss the life that humans throughout history have appreciated simply because I’m
traveling living too fast?
Was I created to live at the speed of light, or at the speed of life? Maybe both – but this weekend humbled me, and challenged me to take time to slow down and notice. There are possibilities for life everywhere, and I hope that I can adjust my vision to see them more often.