Quality time with loved ones – A Pastor’s Choices and Your Choices

DSCN4771(1)It’s ironic that I was interrupted from blogging yesterday because Diane wanted these ‘egg sandwiches’ I make her sometimes for breakfast (using two high fiber muffins, one piece of lowfat american cheese, one egg, and one egg white.)  She sent a Facebook message to me in my office at the church as I was in the middle of my blog.  The blog was about missing a pretty important party Friday night for someone in the church to spend ‘Valentine’s’ time with Diane.  She had class on Valentine’s Day until 9:00 p.m. and I was at CPR training so we had plans to go out and eat and go to an Ohio University hockey game.  So I left my blog undone knowing the right thing to do was make her egg sandwiches.  Then when I came back to my blog, there was someone who came into the church who needed to talk.  After talking with the person, I was out of time and my blog went undone yesterday.

One of the questions pastors always get from the ‘higher ups’ in the UMC is about taking time off and family time.  I received this question the other day before the Board of Ordained Ministry.  Families suffer (and pastors can even get divorced) because pastors often have to choose between the congregation and their families.  Sometimes it comes down to a one or the other choice, “Do you make the person from the congregation happy or your family happy?”  The obvious choice most of the time should be family, but the families of pastors know that they often come second, or third.  Of course there are things like someone ready to die that can’t be ignored.  You must be there with the family if at all possible.  But other times it isn’t an emergency, it’s just easier to let your family down than someone from the congregation.  If you neglect your family, they won’t usually go out and talk about you to others in the church.

However, before I go any further, this isn’t a blog about making you feel sorry for pastors.  Everyone faces the same choices between work and family (work inside or outside the home.)  And it’s nothing you haven’t heard or known.  Today is just a reminder that sometimes we have to make choices and sometimes we have to neglect something or someone pretty important for something or someone even more important.

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