Pastor’s Perspective 4-11-17
We all experience seasons in life where we feel like we’re running on empty. Single moms and mothers of preschoolers come to mind. Our daughter is married to a CPA. During tax season, he works ridiculously long hours and she flies solo with their one-year-old. It is a 24/7 job. Our son is a basic training company commander. He gets up at 4:30 every morning, starts physical training with his soldiers at 5:30, and gets home around 9:30 at night. Our daughter-in-law is handling two preschoolers by herself. All day, every day. They are like two ships passing each other in the night.
College students get buried with finals and a ton of papers and projects that are due at the end of each semester. All-nighters are part of the college experience. Men and women alike work jobs that take a toll physically, mentally and emotionally over time. Vacations are too infrequent and too short to fully replenish our energy. Ministerial burnout has been a documented phenomenon for years. Ministers crash and burn under the seemingly unending expectations of others and the pressure they put on themselves to be all things to all people all the time.
I write these words at the start of Holy Week. A week that traditionally starts with the celebration of Palm Sunday and ends with the celebration of the Resurrection. We might give a head nod to Jesus in the Garden, His sweat as drops of blood. The mock trial that included physical abuse, culminating in 39 lashes across His back with a whip. The crucifixion designed specifically for maximum humiliation and suffering. And those speak only of the physical toll that week took on Him. I can’t imagine the mental and emotional toll He experienced as He knew He was facing death by crucifixion and momentary separation from the Father. The cup of God’s wrath from which He asked His Father to deliver Him. He had to have been utterly exhausted – mentally, physically and emotionally – in those last hours of His life.
And yet, He knew He was doing the Father’s will. He knew His Father would sustain Him thru it all. And He knew His Father had something very special for Him when His work on earth was done. Sounds to me like a healthy perspective for us as we continue our labor – at times exhausting – until He takes us home.
See you Sunday! ~ John