“The Pause That Refreshes”
I had four days of refreshment last week, although I didn’t have a Coke the entire time. I was in New Jersey and I don’t drink Pepsi. But I had a refreshing step away from the computer. I was refreshed with friends, made some new friends, and received a spiritual renewal.
The Catholic Marketing Network (CMN) is a huge international trade show. Purveyors of Catholic goods set up their booths where retailers from around the world swarm making orders for their stores and shops for the next year. Money isn’t exchanged this day, but plans are made, futures sales recorded, and people trust and invest in each other. For me, living in an isolated area without the fellowship of other Catholics and a dearth of Catholic goods, this is a once-a-year pilgrimmage to Disney World! I walk and gawk, stare and dare, to think about such a wealth of beautiful artifacts.
I’m there because the CMN invites the Catholic Writers’ Guild (CWG) to be a part of their week and I’m a Guild member. The CWG holds our annual writers conference in tandem with the CMN trade show. We’re invited to everything CMN does including daily Mass, Holy Hours, Adoration, Breakfasts and dinners. Of course, we also keep our conference schedule of classes, panel discussions, and working in our own tradeshow booth. It gets a bit harried at times trying to keep up with three schedules. If it gets too harried, one can simply retreat to the Exposition Chapel and spend a few quiet moments with our Lord.
The tradeshow is a wonderful marketing venue for authors because the place is teeming with publishers and bookstore owners, the two guests we want most to talk to. CWG authors whose books have the Seal of Approval have their books on display all week in our booth. I have four books there. Bookstore and gift shop owners come to the booth, look them over, pick up our business cards and sell sheets and, hopefully, will order them for their shop. I gave away several of the origami doll bookmarks I’ve been making to announce a future book.
But the most valuable part of this week is that it’s the Pause the Refreshes. It’s a step away from the computer, no facebook, no terrifying headlines, no “life” to deal with. It’s social time with other Catholics who also believe, that as bad as the world is, Christ has already won. It’s time spent in adoration and listening to priest orators with invigorated homilies. It’s a time of spiritual renewal. A Pause that Refreshes.