At a meeting recently I heard another pastor say with a big sigh, "Boy, what I wouldn't give for a regular forty-hour-a-week job!" He was fishing for sympathy-as we all have done at times. I find such comments common among my colleagues. Stress and burnout are catchwords.
Although the demands made on us and our time are a concern, I wonder if we may not at times be fooling ourselves.
Since coming to my present church, which includes many executives, my thinking has undergone some alteration on this subject. I found myself much more prone to grouse about my hours until I started trying to schedule time with some of these execs. Lunches were booked far ahead, and they regularly hit the office at 7:00 A.M. and didn't get home until supper was cold. I began to realize that every successful person I knew put in long, disciplined hours (and usually without complaint).
Then I remembered that I was asking these very same successful people to volunteer additional time, outside their already-heavy ...1