Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Greatest Anti Depressant

The other day I was bummed.  I think it was the combination of a long, busy weekend, short nights and many other life happenings.  Things that, when confronted, are easily dissipated, but emotionally taxing when combined into one weekend.  The weekend was one I'd known would be busy.  I'd know there would be a lot responsibilities, but other things happened that pushed my stress level to the max.  So there I was, lugging myself into work: tired, worn out, and slight depressed.  Since I’d gotten through the long, dreaded weekend, I could finally take a breather.  Well, I looked at my schedule and found it somewhat full of planning, rescheduling, odd jobs, and of course…Meals on Wheels.

It’s not that I didn’t want to do Meals on Wheels.  Rather I wish I hadn’t volunteered for it THAT week with everything that’s on my schedule.  When you sign up, it’s a full week of delivering meals.  I thought to myself, “How am I supposed to drop everything and go do these meals now?”  Well, to get to the point, I will never ever try and get out of Meals on Wheel again.

I’d had a bummer of a week ahead of me, but after the first day of delivering meals had brightened everything up.  You see, delivering meals to the elderly gets you out of your office and with people.  And these people aren’t sluffs that waste your time.  No, these people are the gems of God’s kingdom.  I love delivering meals to the elderly.  It was just the thing to get me out of my beginning-of-the-week funk and refocus my goals for the week.  AND, it only takes roughly a half an hour. 

So I wonder, why did delivering meals turn my week around?  What makes life so much better now as opposed to an hour ago?  The only conclusion I can come to is this: we were meant to be relational beings.  Sitting in my office, getting the “work” done, doesn’t necessarily accomplish anything.  Especially as youth pastors, it’s easy to get lost in the planning of programs or trips or whatever else we fill our schedule with.  Without taking time to get out of your office and meet with people, you’re driving yourself further away from what ministry really is.  No, I’m not the best at this, and yes I spend way too much time in my office.  But I think it’s something that we almost have to plan for…to get out of our offices.  And if you’re going to get out of your office, why not volunteer somewhere?

My advice is this: get out of your office and volunteer.  I know not everybody has the luxury of a Youth Pastor’s flexible schedule, but if you’re in a job where you can take a little longer lunch breaks, maybe Meals on Wheels would be a good addition to your week.  And it will get the grumps out.


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