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Posts Tagged ‘Jello’

Some days, I’m just bouncing off the walls because I’m so thoroughly enamored with being a pastor in “my” small, country church. But then, by time my day off comes, I’m also thoroughly spent. I have loved, and listened, and prayed, and studied, and extinguished fires, and invented, and envisioned…and I’m a human equivalent of Jello: kinda useless. (Don’t misunderstand– Jello is one of my favorite foods. It’s just not great at providing nourishment.)

Even though I just came off vacation, and in fact, haven’t been in the office yet this week, the thought of another few 10-12 hour days just wears me out. I know I’m flirting with burnout. Seems like I remember something about “All work and no play”… I guess that’s where I am, though. That’s one of the tough things about being a solo pastor– there’s just no one else to do it (sometimes. I’m a pretty big fan of “delegate and conquer” when possible.) Some days, I feel like answering the phone “Sherwood Presbyterian Church. This is the pastor, preacher, plumber, secretary, and all-around go-fer. How may I help you?”

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been getting up earlier, as my body allows, and having some much sought after “me” time. I’ve savored coffee and Barbara Brown Taylor’s newest, “An Altar in the World”. The book has been such a treat to read, and it’s given me a lot to think about. But her chapter on vocation has hit especially close to home. She says, “While it’s sometimes possible to turn your love into your work, that is not always the best idea. When the music you love to play becomes the music you have to play to pay the rent, your heart can suffer from alienation of affection.” She goes on to tell of a clergy group in her town, and of her Baptist minister friend who preached three different sermons every week–in addition to all the other tasks of keeping a growing church alive. She says, “What saved this guy, as far as I could tell, was the clown outfit in his closet. On his day off, he put it on and went wherever he could make people laugh; children’s hospitals, nursing homes, charity benefits. Without the makeup, he was a pretty serious fellow, so it made perfect sense that his exercise in freedom required a wild, orange wig.” She goes on to tell of the Presbyterian minister who was there when the Baptist minister was talking about his clown gig–all of the sudden, the Presbyterian sort interrupts the Baptist guy and says, “I’ve figured out what I’m missing! I mean, what the rest of you have that I don’t. All of you do something else besides church.”

I sure don’t know how it would play out, but something about that rings very, very true for me. I love being a pastor– but for much too long now, I’ve let that be the only passion I gave any thought or time to. I don’t know exactly what my soul is aching to do, but I’m giving it some serious thought. The only thing that keeps coming up is that I want to write.

Aha! Now if only I knew what it was that I was to write…

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