Pastor’s ponderings

As you read this, I am in the midst of two weeks of vacation time.  Some people never consider that pastors need time away.  Sure, this is our calling, our life, but we need time away as well.

          I once heard a story of a pastor who told his spiritual director that he never took time off because the devil didn’t.  To this the spiritual director simply responded, well then, perhaps you’re following the wrong example.  Makes you stop and think for a moment, doesn’t it?  We all need time of rest.  Our human bodies are made that way.  And, we need time to spiritually recharge as well.

          Yet, for pastors, this can be very difficult. For the most part, we don’t set our own schedules.  Instead it is dictated to us by the necessity of ministry.  We don’t control when someone gets sick, needs counseling, or a parish member claims the promise of the resurrection. These things just happen and we have to adjust.

          I read somewhere that unlike many other vocations, pastoral ministry is one of emotional extremes – both high and low – on a nearly daily basis.  This can place great stress on pastors both spiritually and physically.  (In fact, it is also reported that pastors are among the most physically unhealthy professions – and it’s not just from all the fried chicken at the church potluck.)

          If you look to the New Testament for guidance, you will find that Jesus, too, regularly stepped away.  He took time to himself to recharge after preaching and teaching, healing the sick, and visiting the unwell.  So, I, too will do so, with the understanding that when I return the Spirit will have nourished me in such a way that I can be of better service to you.

          How is God calling you to be refreshed, renewed, and replenished during this season?  It’s been a rough couple of years.  Perhaps God is calling you to a time of rest as well?

                                                          Always pondering,

                                                          Pastor Steve

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