Spring is here! Those in our area who missed its official arrival in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, know it has sprung now. Today is the first day of our school district’s spring break. Families are traveling. Kids are celebrating. It is time to take a break.
My family – my wife the teacher, my high school son, and middle school daughter – are all off this week. I’m not. Bad planning, I know. For some of you, a spring break vacation isn’t an option because the lead pastor has taken the week off and you have more to do! This still doesn’t mean you cannot take time to be refreshed.
Ministry doesn’t happen in the 9 to 5 world. I awoke at 5:00 this morning for my workout, devotion, and a final edit of this post. Tonight I have a church council meeting which will probably adjourn after 8pm. Easter is less than 2 weeks away, and there is still a boatload of work to be done for it – not to mention summer planning I am behind on, meetings to set agenda for, bands to be rehearsed, people to visit… At times the list seems endless.
You know what? Your ministry to-do list doesn’t just seem endless. It actually is. Ministry was going on long before you were ordained, and will continue long after you retire – unless the Kingdom comes sooner. (If you doubt that statement, check out this quote from Oscar Romero who said it far better than I.) No matter how much time we put in, we will never be done. Know what is urgent, what can wait, and give yourself a break.
I’m not condoning irresponsible time management. Don’t shirk your responsibilities because you think no one is watching. Put in the hours necessary to do your work to the best of your ability, but remember: you need not burn yourself out to be faithful to your calling.
What I am advocating for is self-care which takes time. You will be more faithful if you pause to stay healthy – physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally – rather than plowing ahead because there is still something on your never-ending ministry to-do list.
May our Spring Breaks remind us to slow down and take care of ourselves.