Eight Days a Week

Okay this one is for all you old-timers out there who still remember the greatest rock band ever, The Beatles. In December 1964 the song “Eight Days a Week” was released on their album entitled Beatles For Sale. Paul, in 1984, credited the title of the song to Ringo Starr. However, Paul also credited the title to an actual chauffeur who once drove him to John Lennon’s house in Weybridge England. Paul said, “I usually drove myself there, but the chauffeur drove me out that day and I said, “How have you been?” He said, “all right, working hard, working 8 days a week.”

Have you ever felt like there were not enough hours in the day, or days in the week? With all the things that keep you busy, wouldn’t it be nice if there was an eighth day to your week? One of the most common laments I hear from pastors is, “I just don’t have enough time.”

I believe we have exactly enough time to do the things God has asked us to do. “Not enough time…” is often an indication that we are doing things God has not asked of us.

Our congregants will tell us what we should be doing. The schools we were trained in will tell us what we should be doing. The church we came from or were raised in will tell us what we should be doing. Conferences, books, seminars, blogs… all tell us what we should be doing. And sometimes, it’s we ourselves, possibly due to our own brokenness, a need to be liked, or self inflicted guilt, who add ministry tasks to our work week that result in a “busyness” of life that is counterproductive to our call as pastor and the health of our soul.

Eugene Peterson in his excellent book 5 smooth stones for spiritual leadership said, “The pastor must not be “busy.” Busyness is an illness of spirit, a rush from one thing to another because there is no ballast of vocational integrity and no confidence in the primacy of grace. In order for there to be conversation and prayer that do the pastoral work of meeting the intimacy needs among people, there must be a wide margin of quiet leisure that defies the functional, technological, dehumanizing definitions that are imposed upon people (and pastors) by others in the community.”

Do you find yourself wishing there were more hours in the day? Could you use an eighth day of the week? Is it possible that your feelings of, “I just don’t have enough time.” are the result of taking on tasks and responsibilities that did not originate from God?

Questions for reflection:

1. How might I discover those things that make up my work week that have their origins from places other than God?

2. What steps could I take to remove those tasks, focus more fully on the things I’m certain God has asked me to do, and therefore, free up my schedule so there is no need for more hours or more days in my week?

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