The Kentucky WMU staff took a couple of days last week for our annual Staff Planning Retreat. During this time we try to have a mix of some fun activities as well as prayer, Bible study, reflection on the past year and plans for the coming year.
As our fun activity, we hiked the Big 4 Bridge, an old railway bridge that has been turned into a pedestrian bridge over the Ohio River. There are ramps up to the bridge from both the Kentucky side as well as the Indiana side. The Kentucky ramp is in Waterfront Park in Louisville and is near a “swing park” and a “splash park.” The Indiana ramp is in Jeffersonville near a street of interesting shops and restaurants.
The Big 4 Bridge is one mile in length. Each ramp is about one-quarter mile and the bridge itself is one-half mile. As you cross the bridge there is an outstanding view of the river, downtown Louisville, Jeffersonville, and river activity. I was especially glad to see that a new downtown bridge really is being built. (My parents were from Missouri and that characteristic of “I’ll believe it when I see it” was passed down!)
Hiking the bridge was fun and a good time for us to be together. But there was a bigger purpose in going. I wanted our staff to see the bridge view and reflect on lessons we might apply to our work such as:
See the big picture
Note the tearing down to make way for the new
Small details matter but don’t lose sight of what you are building
Small details matter and affect the quality of the outcome
Note the new alongside the old
Repurpose the old (Big 4 Bridge is an example)
Create space for fun even the midst of work (a park near office buildings)
We need more bridges
There are new discoveries on the other side
We also had a fun lunch at Schimpff’s Confectionary (a new discovery for me!). And the view from the bridge gave us a new perspective for our discussion during day two of our staff planning as we talked about things we do well, what needs improvement, what we should be doing and even what we should not be doing.
If you can go hike the Big 4 Bridge, I encourage you to do so. It is a wonderful facility. There were many walkers of all ages as well as runners and cyclists. The view from the bridge is worth the trip. And while you are there, reflect on what you see!