The Christmas season is exhausting (understatement, I know). But why is it exhausting? Maybe it has something to do with all the demands on my time and energy. Am I alone here?
Here’s what I am struggling with:
- I feel a conviction to make this season somewhat “magical” for my kids. We are trying to take in as many “Christmasy” things we can in a short amount of time. This eats up time and effort in a hurry.
- I have a bunch of parties and events to attend, regardless if I have time for them or not.
- We have all sorts of Christmas stuff going on at church – advent, gift giving, Christmas Eve service, etc.
- People need to talk. Oddly enough the holidays are pretty tough on people and they need help processing their hurts.
What does your calendar look like? Seriously, write down all that you have going on this month. You might be surprised with how busy you actually are.
But my guess is you already know. In fact, if I were a bettin’ man (which I am not, because I’m a good Baptist) I’d venture to say you are as busy or busier than I am.
So do we just accept that this is a “busy time of year” for ministry?
It also feels slightly edifying, as though my busyness is akin to godliness.
On some level that’s probably a reality. But my fear is that we as church leaders hide behind busyness. We probably even glorify it a little too. How many times do you slip in ‘how busy you are’ in your conversations this time of year? I know I am very guilty of doing that. It’s almost like it gives me an excuse to drop the ball on something. It also feels slightly edifying, as though my busyness is akin to godliness.
The reality is that our calendars do get full. And while there is little we can do about that, there is something we can do about the false sense of insulation that busyness creates.
Let’s be real here. We hide behind our calendars, and in doing so we hurt ourselves. Instead of admitting how tired or how stretched thin we are, we just say, “I’m so busy.” Instead of saying “no” to things, we overextend ourselves because, “it’s that time of year.”
Here’s a challenge: Let’s try RESTING this Christmas season. (crazy right!?)
Here are a few ways we can do that:
Stop saying yes to everything! Your time has value and you need to spend it wisely. Your congregation and your family are watching you. You are setting the pace. Saying no to overextending yourself is both good and right.
Create scheduling accountability. Have someone, whom you trust, help look over your calendar during “busy” seasons. Let them be an objective voice as to whether you are doing more than you should.
Listen to your family. Better yet, ask your family. They are usually pretty good about being honest when it comes to how busy you are in ministry.
Don’t ignore your own struggles. Be honest about how you’re feeling and what you’re wrestling with.
Last but not least…
Give your best to the Lord. Make sure He is getting the best of your calendar and your time. Everything and everyone else can wait.
I pray you overcome your busyness and find the courage to REST this Christmas season.