This month, we sit down for coffee and a chat with Lucas Damoff, Communications Coordinator at All Saints Dallas. In addition to his job and young family, Lucas is working on completing his seminary degree and also contributes to Three Streams, The Mission’s blog. Pull up a chair and join us in learning what energizes Lucas’ philosophical mind every morning and his secret to having worthwhile time with the Lord.
What gets you up in the morning (energizes/motivates you)?
Contemplating the mystery of God is hugely energizing for me. The magnificence of who He is and all He has made is incredibly fascinating. That the vastness of His being became incarnate in Jesus Christ is mind-boggling. Meditating on the realities and mysteries of our faith is a hugely energizing enterprise for me. My main motivations tend to be my sense of call. I feel called to be a husband, father and pastor/teacher. I find myself constantly going back to the Lord in prayer to clarify what this call means. This sense of calling has led me for the last several years to slog through what seems like an interminable seminary education. Finding the balance of time spent at work and school and with family has been incredibly difficult, and I’ve probably not done a great job with it. But trying to find that balance has been a huge motivating factor the last few years.
On a professional level, I find questions of philosophy (especially epistemology and hermeneutics) very engaging. Questions of how we come to know information and how we interpret that information in order to formulate meaningful knowledge is endlessly fascinating to me. As you might expect, I’m something of a bore at dinner parties.
What is your daily devotional rhythm, or what does your own spiritual formation look like on a daily basis?
Having young kids has definitely affected my daily devotional rhythm. Before I had children, my devotional life centered around the morning. I’d usually read a few chapters of Scripture (working through the Bible in a year) and then spend some time journaling and praying. That isn’t as much of an option now with more hectic mornings helping to take care of the kids. Now I am getting into the habit of doing my scripture reading and journaling as soon as I get into the office, as it’s a lot quieter than at home. I haven’t quite settled into a rhythm that is as comfortable as before, but I’m learning that I don’t need to wait around for ideal circumstances in order to have a worthwhile time with the Lord. He’s good at meeting His people wherever they happen to be—that’s one of the things He’s known for.
On a weekly basis I also have been trying to translate a few verses of Scripture from Greek and Hebrew with one of the priests here at All Saints. It takes time (because we’re both out of practice) but going through the text that slowly really can help reveal aspects that otherwise I would never notice. I also find our church’s weekly ritual of Morning and Noonday prayer on Wednesdays to be really nourishing. It’s kind of a halfway house between private devotions and full-on Sunday morning church.
What is the most encouraging or memorable thing that happened in your life and ministry in the last year?
Quite honestly—and I know this doesn’t sound spiritual—it was when the seminary I attend cut the requirements for the Master’s program I am in, as it means I can graduate a year earlier! Seminary has been a long journey, but one I’ve felt called to persist in, so learning that the light at the end of the tunnel was that much closer than I thought was a huge encouragement.
What person has most impacted your life, and why?
Probably my father. He’s been a great example of humility and faith since before I can remember. I don’t want to bore you with my glowing review of his character, but I do hope that if I ever grow up I turn out to be like him.
I’d have to say my college adviser, Dr. Talbot, also has had a profound effect on my character. He taught me how to really integrate my faith with robust and critical philosophical enquiry. Perhaps even more so, he helped me make sense of what it means to be human with both intellect and will. The notion that we are not always capable of receiving the truth because of prior intellectual commitments or even our own desires has been hugely informative and sparked my interest in epistemology, specifically regarding our limitations as human beings (both externally due to our limited faculties, and internally due to our sinful brokenness).
What is one accomplishment in the past that you are proud of, and what is one thing that you would like to accomplish in the future?
I’m incredibly proud that I somehow convinced my wife to marry me. In the future I would like to continue to convince her to stay married to me until one of us dies. I’d also like to raise my children in the fear and knowledge of God and see them grow in grace throughout their lives. If I can do those two things, I’ll consider my life a glowing success.
If somehow, on the side, I can finish my Master’s degree (sooner rather than later), I’d consider that a very acceptable bonus.