Sunday, June 11, 2006

Cheaper by the dozen

I've just watched a DVD of "Cheaper by the dozen". This was a popular movie that got sniffy reviews by the critics.

I rather enjoyed it. Of course, it was a farce and a lot of people think farce is beneath them. It had the full panoply of slapstick and a lot of people don't like slapstick. But I think the real reason the critics didn't like it was that it portrayed an unpopular message. It said that you can't have it all. You can't have a family and a big career. No matter how hard you work, something has to go. Or you have to be married to a saint.

A successful marriage has to be built on compromises as well as promises. It is about putting other people in the family first. A successful career depends on putting the business first. That is too big a price for a happy family to bear.

Apparently 27% of evangelical pastors a suffering from burn out. The symptoms are failure to pray, failure to read the Bible, failure to fully prepare sermons. The consequences are yielding to sexual temptations. And if pastors suffer from burn out, what about the lay-leadership, who have a career to maintain as well as church responsibilities?

Burn out comes from over-commitment; taking on too much and never learning to say, "NO". I once took a time management course which instructed me to never commit more than 40% of my work time. The rest must be for thinking. I never knew a doctor who could comply with these instructions.

In the feeding of the 5000, Jesus had compassion on the multitude who had chased after them. He had first shown compassion for the emotional well-being of his disciples by taking them to a secluded. When the crowds turned up he had compasiion for the intellectual well-being of the crowd and taught them, then he had compassion for their physical well-being and fed them. A Christian doctor must follow this example, but guard against burn out.

1 comment:

Liz W. said...

I agree about your comments about "having it all". I work at a church and I suspect that the 27 percent burnout is a very low figure. I read an excellent book recently ("Velvet Elvis") where the author suggested that some pastors may even give in to a "moral failure" because they would finally get a guaranteed break by being fired. Church staff and I mean, the unpaid volunteer staff too, need to know that part of their job is resting and practicing what they are telling others about--they can serve their people better. (Sometimes it is even their "job" to stay at home sick).
Thank you Terry for your blog. It encourages me to learn more about my CLL and that their is life beyond and outside of my CLL. I just love hearing about your life way over there in England. "Ordinary life" is even more precious with a diagnosis of CLL. God bless you for your work!