By God’s Side: September 23, 2020

Weekly Inspirational Reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles

September 23, 2020

The Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles“Jesus said to them, ‘Come away with Me. Let us go alone to a quiet place and rest for a while.’ “ (Matthew 6:31)

Not long ago I had the opportunity of bringing our dog, Bendix, along with me to the office. I do not do it very often, although I thoroughly enjoy having him with me. I am not sure if he finds it terribly exciting to sit in my office while I do my work, although he loves seeing the other church staff members and making the rounds to where they are working.

On this particular day, I had a number of things that I needed to do, but I did not have any meetings scheduled, which meant that I could work at my own pace.

I soon discovered that I was not working at my pace, but rather, I was working at Bendix’s pace. He seemed eager to have me close. So rather than being behind my desk, I was seated on the sofa. And rather than having a computer screen in front of me, I worked using my smart phone – something that I had become accustomed to doing during our COVID-19 precautions and restrictions, because it allowed me to work in a variety of locations around the house. There is something about being in a different place, even in the same space, that is refreshing. It gives you a new slant on things. Maybe you do things a slightly different way than you might have, if you were in the same old spot – even if it is not very far away. I certainly felt that the day was one in which I was able to get a lot done, and be creative, even though I had to stop and go for several walks in the course of the day because Bendix wanted it that way.

But mostly, Bendix wanted me to stay close, which, for me, was a joy, not a burden, and brought a sense of calm even in the midst of focused work. Give it a try. Sometimes shifting your chair, moving a few feet away from where you have been, allowing yourself to accomplish things in a slightly different way, will benefit you, and will benefit others.

The Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles
Interim Senior Pastor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church

About Dr. Dalles

Read more about Dr. Dalles.

Watch a brief video introducing a series of conversations with Dr. Dalles.

About By God’s Side

Shadyside Presbyterian Church publishes By God’s Side, a weekly series of inspirational reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles, to support you in your spiritual journey. These pastoral messages appear in the blog section of the church website each week. (Our weekly e-newsletter includes an excerpt to remind you to read along with us regularly; click here to subscribe to the e-newsletter if you do not already receive it.) We hope this regular feature will help you to draw closer to God’s side in your life of faith.

Read more reflections by Dr. Dalles from By God’s Side.