Over the past few weeks, I’ve listed a bunch of the really great ideas Elizabeth & I picked up while we were on sabbatical. Today we tried out something we heard about while we were at the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Conference: the Day with God.
What they do is all of the pastors on staff @ their church take one day each month, and rather than come into the office to do work, go out & spend the day with God. Pray, read scripture, practice silence, read a good book, whatever.
So this morning, we got the kids off to school, got the house ready (we had a showing at 9:30…we are really hoping to get our house sold so the kids can start the new school year in the new school), and then headed out to Stewart Park to spend the day with God. (interesting side note, even though we hadn’t discussed this with James since he isn’t normally in the office during the week, we saw him @ Stewart Park this morning).
As we have begun practicing Sabbath as a family, one thing that has become clear is that you will never get all your work done. There will always be something in your to-do list, and if we’re not intentional about taking time to disengage, and step back from what seems urgent and important, we’ll often miss out on what really is important. After having been out of the office, for 4-weeks, I have a lot of stuff I need to catch up on and since we are taking some time off this summer, there is a lot I need to be getting ready for…In a lot of ways, I really couldn’t afford to take today and miss doing my “pastor job.” (in fact my email inbox has already filled up quite nicely while I was out:-)
What I learned after just our first attempt at it is, I can’t afford to not keep this day on the calendar each month. I’m still processing everything, but it was great.
Here’s the thing…as I’m typing this, I’m fully aware, that I’m a pastor…and because of that, people have certain expectations as to what your “spiritual life” will look like. At the same time, I recognize that I have a certain amount of flexibility in my schedule. If I worked a “normal” job, I couldn’t tell my boss, “hey, I need a monthly day with God.” Well, I could tell them, I just wouldn’t get one. At the same time, it isn’t just us as pastors who need to be putting time into cultivating a deeper relationship with God. I’d be interested in hearing from any of you about how, beyond a daily devotional time, you seek out extra time with God.