For the past five years, I have taken my Friday’s entirely off from work. This is the day that I do no work. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. When I leave the building on Thursday, I leave my job behind. If I need to do anything, there is always Saturday. Most of the world gets two days off, and many times I do, but Saturdays are flexible in my schedule. Fridays are not. I have chosen to set aside one day to spend away from the Church and the office.
- Self-Care. On those Fridays, I do things that fill my soul. I spend time in nature fishing, hunting, and metal detecting. I try to quiet my soul from all the outside chaos going on around me. Some days I just lie in bed with my wife and watch movies. Whatever form the day takes, I want it to fill me up and not drain me.
- Rest. By Friday, I am tired. I have spent 5-6 full days engaging my brain. I read, study, write, and preach. All of them call not only on intellect but also my emotions. I need a day to recharge. This means, I make no decisions of significance and do no writing (I always write this blog on Thursday).
- Family Time. Under normal circumstances, I spend the day with my wife and the evening with my youngest son (who is still at home) or doing something with all my boys. This is the one day I want to invest in my relationship with my wife in a substantial way. We walk, talk, shop, and often do the first two things on my list. We rest and enjoy something outside together.
I often hear that being a pastor is an overly stressful job. There are definitely parts that can drive you crazy. With a single day off, I can refresh and refocus for the work ahead.
I have no idea what your life looks like, but I would suggest this to anyone. Take one day with these three points of emphasis, and it will change your perspective. If it is not possible to take a full day, then set aside an afternoon or an evening. You will be glad you did.