The new schedule takes some getting used to. I wonder how people do it and keep up with all of the activities that most "brick and mortar" churches have going? How do you keep a healthy family and do all the activities? It seems like a daunting task.
Take my new schedule for example. With all of the driving and what have you, I'm away from home for 11 hours a day. It is now 8pm and I'm just getting to relax a bit. I'll go to bed in a few hours so my days just whiz by.
I realize that after I adapt, this will be a normal situation but currently I find it to be very strange indeed. No wonder the American family is an endangered species. Who has the time anymore! Our lifestyle is so "anti-relational" as all of the activities we do crowd out relational time. I think that we forget that life is about enjoying your time with those you love. The rest is just …think about it …a dying man regrets the dreams and relationships that have slipped away not things or a job.
Spending 4 hours a day with family is just not enough. Some people may say that the "quality" of time spent together is more important than the "quantity." I think that good relationships require both quality and quantity time. I remember when I used to put in 20 hour days while getting my Masters. I lost so much time on things that don't really matter.
Keeping my life more simplified is proving to be a hard task at the moment. Finding the balance in my schedule will take some time. I pray that God will grant me the wisdom to prioritize my relationships as I adjust to my new work situation. Having rejoined the "Suburban Frenzy," I think every vocational pastor should work a "regular job" for a while. It may be eye opening.
I was just reminded of a prayer I prayed as a vocational pastor several years ago. It went like this, "Lord, help me to truly understand the pressures that people in our congregation are up against." Hmmm. I'm getting what I prayed for. I used to be able to re-arrange my schedule for friends and family at the drop of a hat but now I'm going to have to find new ways to spend time with people.
I knew that I was extremely blessed to have a period in my life with extreme flexibility and lots of free time. I just pray that I won't fall back into my old workaholic patterns. I've been free of them for two years and don't want to return to living like a rat in a maze.