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Terry Storch Dispatch 8.2021
I can see clearly now the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind. It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) sunshiny day. - "I can see Clearly Now" by Jimmy Cliff
I’ve been “gone” for a while. I’m not really sure when I wrote the last dispatch, but I know it was before my wonderful six-week sabbatical. With that in mind, I’m not really sure where to start or even how to approach this update. So, I guess I’ll just start at the beginning.
My sabbatical came at just the right time. Honestly, it could have come a few weeks earlier, but hey, it came. I rolled into my sabbatical on fumes, kinda like I hear my sixteen-year old daughter talking about rolling into the gas station when her car can’t go another inch. (That's another story in and of itself, because I just can’t comprehend letting the gas gauge get so low. I’m at the beginning of this update, and I’ve already digressed.) I was smoked, worn out, weary, and totally spent going into my six weeks off, so unplugging and disconnecting was very easy for me. The culmination of a really intense 2019 followed up with the utter chaos of Covid 2020 led me to this pretty weary and worn out spot.
My time away was broken up into a family vacation, some personal reflection time away, time with just Robin and me, time with friends, and then a staycation. I could write a full dispatch on each part, how great each was, and how each of them played a great part in my restoration and rest, but I’ll focus on my family time and my sabbatical.
Our family vacation was to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and it was a relaxing and wonderful time with the family. I had a blast hanging out with Robin and our girls. Getting so much time just hanging with the girls, including Reia, who came back from college to join us, was an absolute blast!
I loved my personal time away, or what Robin and I referred to as my “walk about.” (That was a Crocodile Dundee reference. If you're under 40, I doubt you have any idea what I am talking about, and that's ok.) As I was thinking about and planning my sabbatical, I made adjustments leading up to my start. I ended up camping in New Mexico in my Tesla. Yes, you read that right—Tesla Camping. Just do a search on this and you’ll see all the depths of what this is. For eight days, I was totally alone. Because I prefer the mountains over the beach, I left home and went to the Santa Fe area first, but the majority of my time was spent in the Enchanted Circle area of New Mexico. The New Mexico mountains are stunningly beautiful during the summer months. I started in Santa Fe because I wanted to do a Dark Sky Outing where I could see God’s creation light up in the sky. I’m so glad I did, because it was stunning! I then left Santa Fe and headed north into the mountains. I stayed in Angel Fire and Eagles Nest, and visited Red River a few times. My time camping in my Tesla in the high altitudes was just what I needed. I was “off the grid” of sorts yet still at campgrounds so I could charge my Tesla! I would start my days very slowly. The mornings were 50 degrees or below so I bundled up in my sweatshirt and then drank coffee, read, and watched the sun rise. This is heaven coming to earth for me! I had nothing to do and zero places to be. I was pretty nervous about this because I tend to like activity, but it ended up being wonderful! Everyday I ended up on some type of hike or nature walk, enjoyed a midday nap, and experienced something unexpected. This picture does not do it justice, but I saw the most impressive and vibrant rainbow one evening.
In so many ways, God used this time away in the mountains to refresh and recharge me. Having the ability to turn off all the noise from the world and just be in nature was fantastic. Below I will share some of the things I was reading and listening to that God really used to speak to me.
So about Jimmy Cliff. As you opened this dispatch, you read his lyrics about seeing clearly now and the rain being gone. There is something pretty interesting that happens when you are totally unplugged from the Matrix for a significant period of time. Having no access to work, no awareness of what’s going on, and being completely isolated from the normal rat race creates a new normal. It’s similar to starting a new job. You have fresh eyes and can see things that you may have not really noticed before.
My world is pretty fast paced, and the scale and breadth of the responsibilities is so large. For weeks, I felt like I was trying to swim at Niagara Falls. I can see clearly now, and I’m trying to make adjustments and changes that will allow me to have more ability to sustain the load as well as thrive while doing it. I still have much to figure out to get this right, because we take the wonderful and amazing things around us for granted. We just accept things how they are, and it SHOULD NOT BE that way. Until you totally unplug from the Matrix and re-enter, you just might not see them.
I don’t have any false hopes to think I will continue to be able to walk around and see this clearly forever. But before my vision fogs up again, my prayer is to make the appropriate changes in myself, my team, and my areas of influence. I desire to journal and log the rest, so I can reflect back on this season and remember it accurately. I also do not want to wait another fifteen years until the next sabbatical!
I’m not sure what this type of time away could look like for you. But, I urge you to figure out how to unplug from your Matrix and find the ability to recharge and rest accordingly. It could be a weekend escape or six weeks in the mountains. By the way, I hope to have a mountain home someday soon. Lord, hear my prayer!
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These three books really impacted me and spoke to me during my sabbatical. All three of these I HIGHLY recommend, sabbatical or no sabbatical. Falling Upward is one of my favorites. I’ve read it five times. Soul Keeping is the type of book that could be a fantastic annual read. Invitation to Retreat is great but not in the same class as the others.
Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You
Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life
Invitation to Retreat: The Gift and Necessity of Time Away with God
The Rise & Fall of Mars Hill was a very, very impactful podcast during my sabbatical. There’s so much I could discuss here. I’ve been in ministry over 20 years now, and have seen so much first hand. This story needs to be made known, and pastors and church leaders must pay very close attention.
Transcend and Include
My next tattoo came to me on my walk about. This is one of the inspiration images I will work from. This tree has 40 rings. I want mine to have 47, which is my current age and when this concept came to me. The overall concept of this I will cover in full when I have the work done in November. Fortunately and unfortunately, my tattoo artist is in high demand, and she has a five month waiting list.
If you have followed me or know me, you know that my all time favorite band is Metallica. The Metallica Podcast dropped last week and whoa!!! As a fan from the very beginning this is pure genius.