After my first month or so in leadership I hit a wall where I was physically, spiritually and emotionally tired after 2 weeks of meetings, air travel, long days and dealing with difficult issues and real people. In talking with a trusted leader I met "by chance" at my lowest point:-) I realized that most of my stress was coming from CFS (Christian fatigue syndrome): I had been ministering long hours without a break for 2 weeks. A couple of weeks ago I worked through the weekend, but had already planned a complete day off during the following week. It's not rocket science, but it really made a difference. What Ruth Haley Barton in the latest Leadership Mag really resonates with me:
"There is something deeply spiritual about honoring the limitations of our human existence."
Now I am learning to find my rhythms: when I work best, how to recognize when I need a day off before everyone around me does 1st, how to be fully engaged giving my best for the missos I serve whilst having regular slots to step back and gain perspective. As I have said to others, I now say to myself: your organisation will never tell you to do less; don't be a hero, you need to know when its time for some self-care (or listen to your wife who can usually spot it first:-); ministry is a marathon not a sprint. I haven't got it sewn up yet, but in recognising this early I am hoping to burn like a candle not a double-happy.
Here are some other very relvant quotes from the article:"Jesus understood how quickly our passions, even the most noble, can wear us out if we're not careful.""When we keep pushing forward without taking adequate time for rest, our way of life may seem heroic, but there is frenetic quality to our work that lacks true effectiveness because we lose the ability to be fully present. Present to God and present to other people. And we lose the ability to discern what is really needed in our situation."
It is certainly worth a read: A Steady Rhythm
Have you found your rhythm yet?