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    Southwest Airlines has done an entertaining job of asking us if we “Wanna get away?” But there are good reasons to get away besides escaping personal embarrassment and catastrophe, and they don’t have to involve an airplane trip.

    We all know that one of the values of “away” is that it can cut down on some of the distractions of daily life – being away from the yard that needs mowed, the dishes that need washed and the TV that sucks us in – allowing us to be more fully present to other things.

    Additionally, away places can provide context for conversations. Some people do this more effectively than others, and some of the common factors for that could be time, space, natural beauty or focal point, and physical needs being met. It’s hard to have a transcendent conversation when you are rushed, hungry, and stressed!

    Conversations when away could be with God, ourselves, and each other. How many of us take deliberate time to talk and listen to God? How many of us cram our schedules so full that we avoid introspection and reflection entirely? (And let’s be real, you can think introspectively waiting at red lights, but it is usually a different type of thought than when you spend an hour staring at a river, or a fire in a fireplace, or the stars, right?) How many of us have regular context for conversation with people around us? Smiles, nods and “fine, how are yous” on a Sunday morning are not going to create the community we desire and God wants for us.  Away as a group can be a phenomenal boost to the depth of those relationships.

    So I ask you – “Want to get away?” If the answer is yes, and a plane ride is not a requirement, why not make Sandy Cove your away place. We have a river, sunsets, stars and people who will keep making food for you! You can learn more about all sorts of opportunities for away, by visiting our website.

    Nate Ransil
    Nate Ransil
    Nate joined the Program department at Sandy Cove in 2003, and transitioned to director of that team in 2014. Nate graduated from Houghton College with a double major in Communication and Outdoor Recreation (yes, it is a thing) and got to know his wife Evelyn while co-leading backpacking trips for at-risk youth. Hopefully not as at-risk are their two sons, Caleb and TJ, who have spent all their summers at Sandy Cove, Camp Sandy Cove, and The MARSH! Nate enjoys being outside, being inside, being handy, the beach, snowboarding, roller coasters, training aardvarks, bodybuilding, contributing to quantum theory, and making up fanciful, if not entirely accurate, biographical details.
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