By the time Friday rolls around, I find myself exhausted and ready for a very short break before the day that ministers actually work…Sunday. For someone that only works one day a week I sure am tired on Friday afternoons. In recent weeks, I have found that Friday rolls around and I have experienced a certain degree of grouchiness to accompany the fatigue. I decided today to put an end to it.
During my daily walk this afternoon I started taking a quick inventory of the week. I started with Sunday. What happened on Sunday that was good? How was my day enriched by other people? Where did I observe God’s presence? I formulated a pretty good list, so I did the same thing for Monday. The list for Monday was equally substantial, so I continued. I ended up spending the duration of my walk running through a daily list of things for which I was grateful. I went home today less fatigued and with a noticeable absence of grouchiness.
This latest little adventure in solitude complements what I had already undertaken in my journal. Everyday I jot down in my journal the initials of the friends that I interacted with that day. I don’t write down names, because some of those discussions represent some level of pastoral confidentiality. In fact, I actually don’t use real initials. I write them in code to insure that I protect appropriate confidences. I find that it is important to look over that list at the end of the day. It gives me an opportunity to express gratitude for those whom I value so much. I have a circle of friends that is truly remarkable. I appreciate them. Consequently it is important for me to take a few moments at the end of the day to express gratitude for the particular encounter we had that day.
It is Friday. I am looking forward to quick breather tomorrow morning. When the afternoon rolls around, I am in Sunday mode. Another week in the life of a minister begins. I will begin that experience with a deep appreciation for the people that I am privileged to serve and interact with everyday of the week! Oh..and by the way. If you happen upon my written journal, don't try to break the code. You will never figure it out!