Advice with a grain of salt...
We just celebrated Labor Day, kicked off the fall schedule, and are facing the sprint toward Thanksgiving and Advent. Can it be this time already? Are you ready?! Chances are, you've begun the conversations about logistics: classes, programs, special services. But have you mapped out your work load...and included your rest time?
Here's something we know: the church will gladly receive as much time and energy as you are willing to give. It's not their fault. They seldom are aware of everything you do, so they don't know if you're putting in 30 or 80 hours. They only have their reference point. They want things accomplished and see you as the primary driving force. At the heart of it though, it is not their responsibility to weigh the length of your work day with the health of your family life, need for personal time, or even the necessary study time. It's yours.
The Bible calls us to be the steward of our resources and work hard with excellence. But, also heed the call to sabbath--rest. It is a polarity that needs to be looked at daily. Nowhere does the Bible say that work is to define our lives--to spend all our energies and time on work would be idolatry. We need rest to restore our souls and bodies. But there are times when "excellence" means giving more time to one part of our life for a period, to help launch a new program, or care for our flock, or be with our ailing family member. Polarity.
We can't let other people determine our lives. It is our responsibility to God and to ourselves to consciously make decisions about where we need to focus our days. We can't make the congregation responsible for our well being. Take time to inventory your life...
- Do you have some vacation (sabbath) scheduled before the end of the year?
- Are you taking your study time out of work time rather than your time off?
- Do you stay "connected" all the time with email, texts, Facebook, etc. or do you give yourself a break?
- Do you spend regular time in prayer on how to allocate your time?
- Has your spouse, children, friends, seen you much lately?
- Have you taken a walk, ridden a bike, sat on the porch, or taken a moment to experience autumn arrive?
- Is your mind on the task at hand or does it flit from one thing to another?
- Were you satisfied with the last project you did? Did you give it your excellence?