Monday, November 21, 2011

I Love Daddy-Daughter Dates Part 1

One thing I've noticed in being here, is that sometimes I get so caught up in working for God that sometimes I forget to work with him. Or, to put it in a more straightforward, parable like form:

It happened that a man took a wife and they had several children together. The man was happy but it takes much to provide for a family. The man had always been a hard worker, but he began to work harder and more hours in order to provide his family with everything he thought they might need or want. He very rarely saw them, but all the same he had the satisfaction of knowing that he was doing great things for them. 

One evening the man came home to find that the house was dark. This was not unusual as he often came home long after his wife and children had gone to bed, yet for some reason this night the house felt particularly desolate and lonely. The man flipped on the light to discover that there was a note on the kitchen table. It was from his wife telling him that she could no longer be married to a man who didn't even know his family. She had taken the kids and left.

Okay, so maybe this is an extreme and very cheesy way of explaining it, but my point is that relationships take work. When couples are dating, they spend time together in order to get to know each other and find out if they would be compatible marriage partners. After a couple is married and their lives become busy, they have to remember to make time for each other. To continue their relationship, strengthen and grow it.

Thought God is... well... God... It's the same kind of thing. I mean I'm not saying that God is going to divorce you for never spending time with him. But what I am saying is that every relationship, even one with God takes work.

So here's how it works. I spend most of my time here working for God in one form or another. Talking to English classes, attending Bible Studies, drinking tea and building relationships with my sisters, writing letters for the Russian Bible School, helping people practice English and so on. Suddenly after a week or so of this, I'll realize that I've been so caught up in dealing with everyone else's spiritual needs that I've been neglecting my own.

I know it's happening because I'll come to a point where there's this build up of noise inside of me. That's the best way to describe it. You know how on the old TVs with antennas, if you couldn't get a channel there would just be static and a fuzzy noise? Yeah, it's like that only inside.

I pray a lot throughout my day and week, but many times it's more like when you call someone to check in with them. "hey God, I'm hanging in there. Hey God, I don't know what I'm doing, can you help me out?" That sort of thing. And as many of you know, a relationship can only go so far with quick chats and texts.

So I've had to come up with a way to rebuild my spiritual reserves. My roommate back home would call it "Jesus Time." I'll freely admit that I used to kind of laugh inwardly when she would compare it to a date with Jesus. I have been humbled however because honestly that's exactly what it is and I've discovered that I really look forward to my "Daddy-Daughter Dates" with God.

Like any date, it's a chance to spend time with God, talk to him about what's going on in my life, bounce ideas off him, tell him about my concerns and fears, de-stress, debrief and regroup for the next onslaught. I try to be in the word and searching but Daddy-Daughter Dates are different than just reading the bible and praying.

Daddy-Daughter Dates firstly involve quiet. They also require setting aside specific time, which again is what a date is supposed to be. Generally they start with meditation, go into prayer, involve scripture reading and finally journaling.

In the next blog post, I will go into more detail about the structure and working of the date itself.

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