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Self-Care vs. Dropping the Ball


 As pastors who work odd hours, juggle multiple conflicting priorities, and are often expected to be in two or three places at one time, one of the most difficult things for us to do well is to maintain an appropriate and healthy rhythm of self-care.  We MUST – if we are to provide appropriate spiritual leadership and pastoral care – attend to both our own physical, spiritual, and emotional needs and to the critical relationships with our families.  All too often, doing so puts us in a position of feeling that we must make a choice between a pastoral – ministry responsibility and doing what we know is good and healthy for ourselves and our families.  To choose the former seems wiser and easier in the short run, but statistics bear out the reality that choosing the latter is wisest in the long run for both the pastor and her/his family AND the congregation in which they serve.

Tonight is one of those times.  Fridays are my day to post to Castle Church Door.  Normally I try to have my post ready early in the week.  Worst case scenario, when the week gets crazy, I can always sit with my laptop on Thursday evening and write my blog post.  Such was the case this week.  My subject has been percolating all week and I knew exactly what I was blogging about.  There was just one minor glitch.

It is 11:15 on Thursday night.   The cluster headache that began around 10:00 this morning is still going strong.  Lights and the glare of a computer screen are not known for their soothing powers when it comes to cluster headaches.  My ability to think clearly is more impaired than normal. I may know what I want to blog about, but stringing coherent sentences together is a major chore.  

So –  This is my blog for Friday.  No deep theological insights.  Nothing meaty to chew on as you read.  Just a recognition that anything I might have to contribute to the discussion of theology and mission for Friday’s Castle Church Door cannot possibly be as important as caring for myself tonight.  The world will go on just fine without a deep theological reflection from me this week. 

To my colleagues – I hope that instead of dropping the ball, I have modelled some appropriate self-care.  To our blog readers – may your disappointment be mitigated by a realization that you also, can let the world turn without you from time to time.  No one ever died wishing they had spent more time at the office.  Attend to your most intimate relationships – God, family, and self.  Tend to your own well-being.  With proper discernment it is not dropping the ball but good stewardship of ALL God has given you.



2 Comments leave one →
  1. 7October2011 07:00

    Amen and Amen! Have a good sabbath day!

  2. Pastor Joene permalink
    7October2011 11:54

    Nothing meaty to chew on? Maybe not, but your blog modeling self-awareness and vulnerability is a good reminder for all of us.

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