Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rest

One of my traits about which I am most proud is that I know my limits. I tend not to over-extend myself, and I know when it is time for me to rest. When that happens, I pull myself away for a little while, scrape a few things off my plate for the time being, and take some time to recover.

I am a few days past that point. It has been a very busy few weeks, and I have a busy few weeks coming up. I am so happy with how the process of building a mission program at the church is going, but there is more work to be done, and I am just tired.

So it is time to rest. Stacey and I are off this morning to see her dad and step mom for a couple of days. They have rented a lake house in Cordele, GA, and we are off to sit and visit and fish and rest, which are four of my favorite things to do.

It is a welcome rest, believe me. There was a time in my early twenties when being around family was anything but restful, but I am reaching the point where I cherish that time with family, which is good because it seems as if we have a lot of family time coming up. More on this later.

I am just getting used to the rhythms of ministry, of the time to work and the time to rest. It will take me a couple of years to get my sea legs, and then a lifetime to master. In the meantime, I am understanding more and more why we harp on sabbath and clergy health so much. It is possible--even likely--for a minister to work herself, literally, to death. There is so much to be done, and while I have never been one to believe that I--and I alone--hold the key to the world's problems, I nevertheless find myself saying things like, "just one more phone call" or "let me just send this last email" or "I just need to go visit these people one more time," instead of acknowledging my limitations and taking a breather.

A minister I know recently told her husband: "You are not indispensable." This is good advice. And so, not being indispensable, I am off to the lake.

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