January 26th of the year 2013. Mark that date.
If I was a farmer then this would be the noted day that the harvest is all taken in.
If I was a tax accountant in Canada, this would be the last day in April.
If I was a professional hockey player, this would be the last day our team played a game in the playoffs.
If I was a university prof, this would be the day that all the exams were completed and marking done.
But I am a pastor in a church in a field, and the stress of December with its many special services, party's and so on and intensive personal Christmas struggles among people is done. The long long days of January's annual reports, budgets, meetings, special weeks, weddings, funerals and counselling people who have already abandoned their new years resolutions, deep breath, is done.
Today culminated in our church annual meeting.
I know I know, a rural pastor in the bliss of these glorious natural surroundings, what stress could shake off that contented bliss?
Well yeah. The stress of expectation, from myself most of all. The stress of all the different pieces of the puzzle, needing to get done. The stress of people, and depending on the people, the stressful demands of people. Believe me, for a person who struggles with the whole administrative part of the work, and whose batteries are emptied by being with people, December and January are completely exhausting.
So today with it's completion of the personally stressful annual meeting, we mark the end of a very very tough season. Done. Let's look to recharging the batteries, renewing, resting, rethinking, starting on some new ideas.
Because oddly enough, through this haze I'm not discouraged. I'm actually quite encouraged by what is happening to this church here in The Field. God is at work and good things are happening. It just requires, for me anyway, a tough season of very hard work. And hard work itself isn't bad, if it's balanced with rest and recreation.
So for now, to balance life a bit.