A Day in the Life of a Pastor – My Tipping Point

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I will start with an honest confession…”I know when I am near my tipping point.”

Let me clarify.  I am not on the verge of burn out.  I am not walking around saying negative things about others.  I am not looking for a remote place to escape society and live as a hermit.  (But a week on an island in the Carribbean…hmm.)

It isn’t that I hear negative stories and life’s challenges every day.  Each person who comes in my door isn’t bringing a crisis with him.  Every call is not a rush to the hospital or condoling a grieving person through the loss of a loved one.  Every email isn’t about a financial need or a mistake made that needs to be addressed.

So what tires me out…life.  More specifically, how I and others intersect with daily life.

And here’s the kicker…it also is the thing that rejuvenates me.

In one day, I played a bad round of golf. Mowed the yard only to have the mower freeze up and had to buy a new one.  Realized I had three broken sprinkler heads that needed to be replaced.  Didn’t eat until 4pm that day.  Said good bye to a good friend and pastor whose insights I will miss. Found out another friend had cancer.  (When you hear that, it sure makes everything else you were grumbling about seem pretty small.)

But also on that day, I had a great time with my friends while playing golf.  I was glad to get the yard done and get a mower that is self propelled. (mine stopped years ago.)   I can use my reclaimed water again.  I love being outside and it was a productive day.  I was able to just hang out with some of our staff at the pastor’s going away party – no business talk.  Got to eat with Kristin at our favorite burger place.  I finished the day with prayer for my friend.  My hope in all situations is that God is able to do something BIG.

Everyday brings a new set of wins and challenges.  People bring them or I bring them on myself.  Most days are not going to set me back.  But do I get tired – yes.  But do I also see the good in those situations – yes.  When the weariness accumulates and that “see the good” outlook is challenged, I get away for a few days and recalibrate.  After twenty six years of ministry, it still works.

Two challenges for you:

  1.  Recognize the challenge and good in each situation.
  2. Recognize your way to recalibrate when it begins to tilt towards weariness.

Go get ’em!

 

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