What is up, D.A.W.G.?!

Post a Comment » Written on October 11th, 2010     
Filed under: Reflection
by: Ben Pease, Youth Pastor – Minnesota

Another day, another email. Another lesson to prepare, another phone call to return. Another meeting to schedule, another Facebook session. Another student to connect with, another event to plan, another parent question to field. Oh, and another time in prayer and in God’s Word.

Do you ever feel like your time with God gets lost in the shuffle? Or, even if you’re consistent with those devotional moments, you feel like many days are still out of whack? I want to encourage you to take one day each month and turn it upside-down.  Take a day in which your time with God is the absolute focus, and all the rest of the details blur to the edges.  I’ve been blessed in my current ministry role to be allowed and encouraged to make this Day Away With God (DAWG) a top priority.

Each month, I take a DAWG in which the goals are to listen to and respond to God, and simply to enjoy God’s presence.  Often, I will choose settings or activities which I’ve found have tended to open me up to the message and activity of God (hiking, paddling, exploring sacred spaces).  Other days, I will spend time in places I haven’t typically been aware of God’s presence, with a desire to gain a wider sense of and appreciation for the breadth of God’s activity.  Just as I would anticipate an uninterrupted day with a friend, I’ve sought to ask myself each month: “If I could go spend the day with God, what would I do?”  Planning them has been fun, but I’ve also become convinced of the importance of holding loosely to the plans, should God draw my attention in unexpected directions.  At times, I’ve headed out the door “late,” only to laugh as I got the sense that God was saying, “Our day together began the moment you woke up.”

Sometimes, these are good days for finally getting time to read that article or explore that concept in Scripture.  Mostly, though, these days have been most precious when the goals have been few and the agenda limited to listening, to soaking in God’s Word, to enjoying God, and perhaps to expressing thoughts back to God in some news ways (maybe through art or different styles of writing).

I have been amazed at how many times during a DAWG some of the bigger picture issues in my life and ministry have “fallen into place,” once the nitty-gritty details have been set aside even for a day.  It’s also been a time when questions have surfaced that have shaped my ministry and my devotional time in the weeks that followed.

I encourage you to consider weaving this practice into your monthly routine.  That one day may give you a slightly different perspective in all the others.

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