by Richard Dahlstrom
Replace weariness with refreshment, obligations with passion, and staleness with joy.
Twenty years of working the same job had created weariness. When a close friend died, weariness led to questions about faith, meaning, work, and life. Seeking answers, Richard hiked four hundred kilometers through the Alps in forty days.
The profoundly shaping experiences in our lives are often born out of the mundane rather than the spectacular, yet there is also great value in stepping away from “normal” life for a period of time. This is especially true for developing companionship with God, which is less about prescribed practices imposed by religious institutions, and more about being open to what God has to reveal through the beauty of creation, the challenge of trials, and the joy of companions. Richard’s experiences and discoveries illustrate that we were all created for beauty, and opening ourselves to it every day is vital to keeping our faith fresh and alive.
Richard Dahlstrom studied architecture, had a God encounter and changed his major to music, and then God “tricked” him into becoming a pastor in 1984. He has run a ministry for interpreting faith with outdoor experiences, along with other ministries, and has led Bethany Community Church in Seattle since 1996. He teaches with Torchbearers Missionary Fellowship and is the author of O2: Breathing New Life into Faith and The Colors of Hope. He and his wife have three grown children and live in the mountains east of Seattle where they ski, hike, climb, and read books by the fire. www.richarddahlstrom.com