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cultivating-resilienceToday I would like to talk about resiliency and rest.

In my last blog, I spoke about the emotional labour that many ministers do every day.  Emotional labour is hard to turn off.  I’ve spoken to ministers who regularly wake up Saturday night, thinking about their sermon.  Or the emotional labour of churning over in one’s mind how to resolve a difficult situation.  Unlike the physical labour of showing up at the hospital to do pastoral care, office hours, or leading worship, emotional labour done by minsters does not respect office hours.  It happens whenever, sometimes when we do not want to work.

Ministers report that it feels sometimes that their work is never done.

How does a minister care for her or himself, and recover from the physical and emotional labour demands?

For me, we grow in our resiliency when we take time to intentionally rest.

I had a spiritual director who once quoted Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God”.  Then he looked at me and said, “Have you ever considered, Todd, that God is most pleased when you are doing nothing?”

That started me on a quest for rest.  How can I allow my soul a rest, a break from the emotional labour?  My quest led me to mountain biking.  Yes I know, that doesn’t sound like a rest, careening through the forest.  It’s not a physical rest.  But it is an emotional rest from all that is going on.  At some points in the ride, I’m just trying to not wipe out. It is impossible for me to think about a conflict or sermon or whatever is on my plate at work.

When I finish my ride, my heart is pounding and happy, and my mind has had a rest and happy for the break.

What would give you that kind of rest?

8 responses to “Resiliency and rest

  1. I am not a minister. But the psalm reading were the words that I repeat several times a day. Those words gave me stillness,hope and eased my fears as I have dealt with cancer and treatments. Those precious words filled me with peace. Linda parsons

  2. When your work and your actions align, there is no need for downtime as you are doing that which calls to you and that you are called to do. Living in your purpose allows for rest and restoration because purpose creates energy to see you through the actions required.
    Staying in purpose is the true challenge 🙂

    Great Blog Post Todd

  3. Thanks, Todd. Psalm 46:10 is one of my favorites . . . probably because I need it the most but do it the least. Thanks for the reminder this day after the “Democraplypse” here in the States.

    Inhale grace. Exhale love.

    1. Dear Mark – the people there will need your courageous voice. Please take care. Please take time to rest deeply as you inhale grace and exhale love.

  4. Each time I take a different supply appointment, it seems to change. In some places carving out the time seems harder, often because people just assume the minister is always there. Currently I take two full days, completely away from the pastoral charge, to recharge. It’s a busy place, and already 30 hours has become 40. And on those two completely separate days I do no work, only read and do some sewing and writing and thinking, fiddle with my plants, and just be.

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