Saturday, May 26, 2012

Firguring It Out: Ministry and Down Time

Like many pastors, I am more introvert than extrovert.  That doesn't mean that I don't enjoy interacting with other people, but it does mean that I find it draining, particularly when groups of more than two are involved. And yes, a lot of my life involves interaction with groups much larger than two!  

Self-restoration requires a lot of solitude and a lot of silence.

My sense of balance is way outta whack these days.  Earlier in the week, a group of first-call pastors discussed the demands on our time.  The new parents echoed a refrain I remember clearly from younger days: "When I'm at work, I feel as if I should be spending time with the family, and when I'm at home, I think I should be at work."

For me, it's a little different. Many of my friends have reached a point in their lives in which they have new freedoms, and none of them are tied to a Sunday work schedule.  They find it relaxing and energizing to spend leisure time together; for me, the sense of inner tension ratchets way up when I see time for myself slipping away.  

I think it may take awhile to get this right.  I do see that I need to be much more intentional about scheduling one-on-one time with friends.  And I see that after a week like this past one, which consisted of a busy and people-filled graduation day, a complete crash, and then three days of nonstop interaction with pastors and congregants, I need to turn down every invitation that comes my way.

In the context of Ignatian spirituality, one of the things we often talk about is looking backward, once we're in trouble, to try to discern where it all started ~ the idea being to develop the ability to anticipate where stumbling blocks lie ahead in the road.  I think that I need to do some of that work.

1 comment:

  1. It is a never ending "game" for me. I am totally "done" after a Sunday worship service. Trust me...not the best time to invite me to meet 17 of your relatives.

    I think some here think since I am single I must crave time with others. I keep trying to educate them on what being an introvert is. We like people but there is a time and place when we need "less people" save our sanity. Maybe that will be a future newsletter contribution.