A Day in the Life of a Pastor – Drive vs Rest

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The picture above was on such a great day of victory for me.  I was finishing an Olympic Triathlon (swim 1 mile, bike 35 miles and run 6 miles.)  I trained hard and was so excited to finish that day!

Fast forward to the last two weeks of sitting and allowing  a daily walk to be my exercise.  It has been tough.  Being a pastor of a growing church, with a family who is very active and a schedule that is usually “on the go,” I have found that sitting is a lot more difficult than running at a fast pace.  Even after I was cleared for “lighter workouts” by my doctor, Kristin challenged me with the words, “I don’t want to go through this again – take it easy.”  She is pretty wise and knows that if I jump back into my workouts, I wouldn’t be happy going through “light exercises.”

This has been such an amazing learning experience for me because it has caused me to not only slow down, but to just enjoy life more.  Instead of hitting the ground running each day, I am getting more sleep.  I don’t require much but I am surprised that I sleep longer than usual.  I have enjoyed some great times with my new grandson.  Since both of us weren’t too mobile (he is 1 month old), it was a great way to hold him and speak blessings over him.  I read some great books and plan on implementing them with our staff.  I have enjoyed some beautiful, Florida days – not from a bike seat, a golf course or a car – but from the comfort of my living room.  It reminded me how blessed I am to have a home that allows me to see God’s handiwork.  I continue to find new things to enjoy each day.

A final story – retold from a Rob Bell sermon way back.  He told of a man who went on a spiritual retreat and was told on the first day to spend an hour in solitude.  He did and as he was sitting there praying, he started to feel pain in his back.  After the hour was up, he went about the rest of the days activities.  The next day, he got into his hour of solitude and felt even more pain in his back. Same thing happened on the third. When he got home, he went to the doctor and the doctor examined him.  He found out that he had two herniated discs.  The man asked, “how come I never felt that pain before?”  The doctor knew how driven the man was in his life and said, “You go so hard each day that you constantly have adrenaline pumping through your body and it masked the pain.  When you slowed down, you finally got to feel what was ‘really’ happening in your body.”

I don’t know if this is a true story but I do know there is a great truth in this story.  We all want to be busy and productive.  I wouldn’t want to get to the end of any of my days and not felt like there was growth and forward momentum.  However, don’t equate growth with a drive that numbs you to things on the inside, the situations on the outside and the relationships that make life worthwhile.  There is a value in slowing down and resting.  Find that balance between drive and rest – you will be so glad you did!

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