Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
When all seems hard all around and our people are in crisis, immediate or threatened we feel we have to step up and be counted; be sociable and available be innovative, caring and praying, be creative and more! But. . to be these things has a cost and eventually that bill has to be paid.
My advice, for what it’s worth, is to try and pay it of early! Take some time before someone else is forced to take drastic action. Look after yourself before others HAVE to do it for you
It is a maxim of emergency aid training that before you wade in to help that you should make sure you are safe otherwise you could add to the problem and make yourself a casualty’. You are then no use to anyone and an extra burden on Those providing the help.
Come to me all you that are weary’ begins our gospel, but to go and lay down your burdens means that you have to stop what you are doing ! It also means you have to get over the feeling that you are indispensable and that you will be letting everyone down. There is a kind of pride in martyring oneself in the service of others.
Unusually for me l decided to take my own advice and this week I posted up my ‘Dunzoomin’ sign and had a break from the time table and the grind of of the last three months. Zoom is a fantastic tool and a useful slave but it can also be as hard task-master. Some days l was tethered to the computer for the day from 8.30 am and things I enjoyed like morning prayer and coffee and conversation began to feel like a chore.
As I read more and more posts in social media from ministers both lay and ordained it became apparent that ministerial burn-out was a very real issue.
This Sunday’s Gospel promises that Jesus will help us with our burdens, that he will give us rest but it requires listening and action on our part,
I have just finished a ZOOM day of Reader Selection with four fantastic people who have put themselves up for training and the future of Reader Ministry looks good with this new generation. Every year that I am involved in this process I find myself in awe of the commitment and faith of the candidates and of the sacrifices they are prepared to make to join the ranks of our ancient order. So prayers today for them and the other folk who took part in the day.
On Monday morning I shall be back in the ZOOM room for coffee and conversation / Solomon’s Portico (porch)- do join us if you can – especially of there is something you want to get off your chest… its a great group for sorting out the world’s ills.