Leadership Network’s newsletter has a great article on Balance. If you’re going to last in any field, you have to realize it can’t all be about one thing. We’ve seen the examples. A businessman excels at work but his family never sees him. A pastor connects with his congregation but doesn’t know his wife. In the end, is it ever worth it?
“Swenson writes that moderate levels of stress actually bring out the best in leaders. But stress levels can rise so gradually that leaders don’t notice, and the stress reaches detrimental levels. “
It’s tough because in ministry, and really in any field, it’s easy to see “busy” as good. If I’m doing a lot, I should have credibility and be respected. But we should start seeing effective as good. And most of the time, effectiveness can happen without carrying around loads of stress and worry.
I respond to stress exactly how the article describes. A little is very healthy. But too much and I get short with people and just a little too intense. I get everything done, but in the end is that really the point?
Whose standards are we trying to live up to? Are we pursuing our call and mission from God? Or are we running after imaginary expectations set by the people around us?
I want to be faithful with every moment God has given me. Sometimes that means pulling every ounce of energy together within me and working as hard as I can. Sometimes that means understanding that I cannot do it all – and that’s ok!