Monday, November 24, 2008

Never On A Monday

I heard the saying from a pastor who mentored me when I was a young guy: "Never resign on a Monday."

The logical person would ask why. The answer is fairly simple. While it's not true that pastors only work on Sunday, it is true that we expend a great amount of emotional energy on that day. It's not just the focus required to preach, but also the extreme interaction with those we have responsibility to care for.

A couple of weeks ago, between services one of our leaders came up to me with some people I had never met. The man introduced himself, his son and his sister. He proceeded to tell me that he wants to get his life back together. Then, breaking into sobs, he went on to explain that his wife had taken her own life last month. I stood and held him as he wept openly.

Yesterday, it included brief interactions with a young couple who just went through a miscarriage, a missionary leader from another country, a couple who is learning to pray about money decisions, and a little girl who was beaming because she had just been baptized.

My tendency is to take all those things in stride while they are happening, then feel like a squeezed-out sponge once it's over. No wonder the Gospels give such vivid pictures of Jesus departing to solitary places (i.e. Mark 1:35).

The argument goes like this... Either Sunday was an incredible day and an emotional high, in which case Monday becomes such a letdown that you don't want to go on. Or Sunday was a horrible day of missteps and problems that leave you feeling you would rather do anything else other than pastoring.

Either way, it's a bad idea to resign on Monday. Tuesday you'll surely be ready to hang on.

What causes you to want to self-impose a pink slip?

p.s. I'm not resigning today. It's a far better idea for Cathy and me to go to Boston and spend Thanksgiving with family.

AND I get to dance with my two-year-old granddaughter! Now that's a job I'll keep!


C. Beth said...

You know, I was sitting here trying to think of a good answer and realized how incredibly blessed I am that right now I don't feel like resigning from anything. Yeah!

Dina Maas said...

Lately, the many "terrible two" moments I am experiencing with my VERY strong-willed daughter have me thinking about resigning as a stay at home mommy and returning to the sanity of corporate America - ha ha. Luckily, she always knows how to turn on the charm before I reach my breaking point. She's like her daddy in that way. ;)

Sandra said...

I think you have raised very wise children, Sam, if Beth is an example. I think there are lots of young marrieds and parents who have trouble seeing the bigger picture, and might wish to "resign" from the responsibility. But what I hear from Beth over and over again is that she "gets it." She is able to step back and see the future benefits of the "sweat equity" that she's putting into marriage and parenting right now.

I share with you and Cathy in the pride you must have when you see a child mature in such a wonderful way.

J Trout said...

Oh my gosh I did quit my last job on a Monday! I had been contemplating it for a month or so though, so it was OK. Your post today does make a good point. As draining as work or life can be don't make snap decisions, think it through, pray, and answers will come. I work with my husband, I guess you could say he is my boss, being married to your boss is not always an easy thing. There are moments when I think he is.....well, I won't say it, but by the next day he is usually the best boss I ever had (of course being able to work out of our home office is simply fab). Sometimes the mountain just seems to big to climb, but after a rest, and some clearing of the mind, it usually works out fine.

C. Beth said...

Wow, Sandra--thank you!!

Heather said...

They are not so much days I think of handing in my resignation, but nights when I cannot comprehend how I'm going to make it...when, at 4:30am, I realize that I've been awake more than I've been asleep and it's the nth night in a row and I have no idea how to make it any different tomorrow night. But somehow, God in His infinite mercy manages to squeeze hours of sleep into the afternoon nap that my husband insists I take when he gets home.

Sam said...

Oh, my goodness. I spend the day on planes and come back to all your input. Thanks!

Beth, be honest with yourself. Wouldn't you at least resign from poop/pot training duty?

Dina, I'm so happy you have the option to make this decision. You're making one of life's greatest investments.

Sandra, I'm overwhelmed by your kindness. Also, after reading your blog in the Chicago airport, I'm ready for you to cook Thanksgiving dinner. You've definitely got it down. AND yes, we are blessed with three great kids.

J, you are indeed a rarity. Cathy and I worked together with me as the boss for years -- at the office! Our pillowcases told the real story. Mine: "I rule the roost." Hers: "I rule the rooster."

Heather, may God bless you with many great naps to make up for your sleep-deprived nights.

Thank you all for your responses!

C. Beth said...

Dad--Funny you'd mention that--you'll see my view of that in my post tomorrow. :) I was taking the "big picture" view with your post but it got me thinking about the little parts of the big picture I'd like to change....

Dina Maas said...

I totally agree and am very thankful that we've managed to make it work so far financially - definitely with God's direction. I haven't regretted my decision once - only VERY briefly during the moments mentioned in my previous comment. :-) Truthfully, I'm glad our daughter has spunk and is challenging us at her very young age. We are going to be such pros by the time the next one comes along. No comments - just let me enjoy the illusion of that for awhile - HA HA.