>> August 26, 2010
God may have rested on the seventh day, but for a growing number of his ministers, there is more work -- and stress -- than ever, and less chance to unwind. (David Gibson, in his article "No Rest for the Holy: Clergy Burnout a Growing Concern", Politics Daily)Our family believes that sabbath is a big deal. But we freely admit that, as a pastoral family, it's the toughest day of the week. Sometimes, we joke that "We may be Sabbath-keepers, but we are Monday-resters!"
Even so, we try to make our sabbath experience special. Call it old-fashioned, call it romantic memories for the way we were raised, call it an unusual fascination with scripture's definition of having a weekly 24-hour date with God... Call it whatever you want, but it has definitely helped us with the challenge of make the weekend run smoothly.
We see our sabbath as a whole 24 hours of time for relationships with God and family and friends, away from work, away from shopping, away from errands or chores or household maintenance. It takes a little more work during the week, but to our family, it is SO worth it!
During the week, we get the house clean, the grocery-shopping done, and the errands finished (or we postpone them for later). Our church clothes are ready the night before, to minimize fuss in the morning. I try to get some yummy food made ahead of time - ready to warm up so there's a minimum of kitchen chores. (The hubby and I have a deal - I cook up a storm, and he scrubs bathrooms and vacuums and mops, etc.) We even leave the dishes in the sink all day - no washing up allowed!
Whatever we can do ahead of time, or leave for later, we forget about it. (Check out Jenah's column on HOW TO::get to church on time(with less stress) here.)
Our iPod has a special "sabbath" playlist. The baby gets extra bubbles in his bath on sabbath. We light candles all over the house and have yummy snacks and read stories out loud together.
Yes, church day is busy, sometimes downright exhausting. And yes, we eagerly anticipate our down-day on Monday when Daddy gives us his undivided attention. But there's still something special about the day of sabbath that we just don't get from any other day of the week.
A FEW LINKS & RESOURCES ABOUT PASTORAL BURNOUT:
- No Rest for the Holy: Clergy Burnout a Growing Concern, David Gibson, Politics Daily
- Soul Care the the Roots of Clergy Burnout, Anne Dilenschneider, The Huffington Post
- Taking a Break from the Lord's Work, Paul Vitello, The New York Times
- Study finds Canadian clergy burned out, isolated, The Presbyterian Outlook
- National Clergy Renewal Program
- Clergy Health Initiative, Duke Divinity School
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