Oxymoron: Relaxing RevApril 7, 2008
Sun-laden beaches, tranquil strolls, long coffee-slurping afternoons. Who couldn’t relax in such an environment?
I answer both from personal experience and from hearing holiday reports from other vacationing shepherds.
So why is the holiday experience such a challenge for our select group? Upon returning from my own weeklong trip yesterday I jotted down a few thoughts. Let me know if any of this rings true for you too.
1. Pastors worship work and don’t appreciate rest.
2. Pastors think deep down that the world of their church revolves around their sovereign power and presence (how will they survive without us?)
3. Pastors are functional by nature, yet by very definition holiday’s are often devoid of functionality.
4. Pastors are often flock orientated not family orientated. For many of us casually conversing with our families for a prolonged period is unusual and, embarrasingly, difficult.
5. Pastors are often poor relaxers in the hustle and bustle of everyday life; this means that when full blown vacation comes they haven’t had much practice.
6. Pastors like to be solving problems. Holiday’s are too easy.
7. Pastors – many of them anyway – struggle with ‘guilt feelings’ that they are slacking. This is because they believe in unbiblical slogans like ‘I’ll have time to rest when I get to heaven, but not before then” and such.
8. Pastors, usually technologically connected and information overloaded, suddenly feel ‘out of the loop.’
9. Pastors, either out of insecurity or fear, need to endure the thought that someone else is filling their pulpit.
10. Pastors, now with some free time on their hands, can’t help but embrace the opportunity to plan ahead.
11. Pastors schedules are typically highly structured; holiday’s are full of unstructured time.
12. Pastors are too exhausted to enjoy the break.