It’s All Work. It’s All Play

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “First Light.”

The Daily Post asked…Remember when you wrote down the first thought you had this morning? Great. Now write a post about it.

There is this struggle I have had for years as a minister. All the areas of my life overlap. The boundaries between work and play, professional and personal are muddied by the rivers of life. It is so hard to see where one thing ends and another begins. I suppose it doesn’t help that I like my job most of the time. I suppose it also doesn’t help that I define being a pastor as a calling (something I am) rather than as a job (something I do). Finally I guess it really doesn’t help that almost all my relationships are marked or affected in some way by the church.

Here are some examples of my conundrum

1. C.cada- Work or play? I enjoy creating. I enjoy being with creative people. C.cada is a work of the church I oversee.

2. Going to dinner with friends from the church- I am J but I am also Pastor at those dinners. They are fun. I enjoy them immensely. I am still Pastor. I am still on. I know that’s more me than them. Still I don’t seem to be able to shut this pastor thing off…ever.

3. Family Skate Day- I don’t go for the skating. I go for the food (which I really love by the way). I go because I am on staff at the church.

I write a lot about this in my journals and I wonder am I ever just a pastor or am I ever just J? It’s all work. It’s all play. And maybe just maybe that’s OK.

10 thoughts on “It’s All Work. It’s All Play

  1. I think it is OK. I think it is a tremendous blessing to love what you do….and do what you love. This is distinctly why I go to Disney….ALL PLAY ALL DAY!

    • I do enjoy what I do and I know I am called to be this. It is a fit. It is who I am. The struggle comes I think in wondering if it’s OK. I think it is. I think it is one way (perhaps not the only way) of walking out the calling. I think it is the way I was made. Maybe something in my childhood helped me to come to view and embrace life this way. Whatever it is it seems to be the way I do life and every year I come to a greater degree of comfort with that.

  2. I’ll be praying you through for God to give you the wisdom to see the balance that you need. A second thought I had about this post is, if you as a pastor always need to be “on” then maybe it’s not a true calling. If you and pastor you are not one maybe God is asking you to move to another type of ministry where you won’t always feel the need to be “on” and instead you can just be you the way God created you to be. God’s Blessings to you and your congregation, my friend.

    • Well this much I know. I know I am called. I think my struggle is not so much in being both and all the time but in worrying that in the eyes of others it seems abnormal. Most people I know easily draw the lines between their work and their personhood. For me sometimes it feels like one flows out of the other and so it is nigh unto impossible to say “this is work” or “that is personal”, “this is labor” or “that is play”. It’s not something I dislike as much as it is something I sometimes question as to whether it is out of balance. Sometimes I wonder is there a better way of doing this thing I call ministry a more compartmentalized way to address the ministry life? MAybe there is and I have yet to find it. I do not think I will be leaving the ministry anytime soon (probably never) but you certainly can pray for me to find the most effective way to live out this calling. That I am always looking for.

  3. It must be hard to draw the line but can you really draw the line when your true calling is to pastor others. I believe that when God calls you for His purpose He is calling you as a whole and not part of you. He wants the entire Joseph Elon Lillie and not just the work day one. You know, Pastor J our normal as Christians is pretty much going to be abnormal to most of the world and that is ok.

  4. Pingback: Happy Pancake Poem! | litadoolan

  5. Pingback: Happy Pancake Poem! | litadoolan

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