All of a sudden, I'm feeling incredibly stressed out. A situation has arisen--the kind that arises frequently in my profession--the sort that I can't talk about. It has me pretty stressed out as I'm not entirely sure what to do about it. Last night we had had friends over and cooked up a nice feast, and that was a nice distraction. The only problem was that cooking a nice meal on a Friday meant that we had a hard time getting the house ship-shape and ready for company and the food ready. In the end we managed it, but not without some stressful moments.
Ah... stress... my old friend.... There is a very interesting line of connection between chronic stress and clinical depression. So chronic stress is probably not a sustainable state. Duh! And yet it seems difficult to avoid in leadership where the leader becomes the point of intersection between what is and what could be. There are many different responses to this dilemma. One is to cultivate a kind of detachment, but I'm afraid that will be misconstrued as as a lack of care.
In my fantasies I have more help--especially for the little details that seem like they are not the best use of my time. For example, we've had a problem with the internet in the church. It works fine in the office (except when it rains, but that's Bell's fault), but hasn't been reaching the daycare. So Friday I spent some time troubleshooting it. I think I fixed it, but that was about two hours of time that would be been better spent reading, writing, or even meeting with people.
The alternative, in this case, would have been to hire someone to come and fix it. We have done this in the past, but it's expensive. There are one or two members of the congregation with the technical expertise to fix a problem like this, but they are busy people, too. This is how it is with many things in a pastoral-sized church trying to grow.