Our church staff had a continuing education seminar today at work. A lady from the STAR
program out of Eastern Mennonite University came and talked with us about compassion fatigue. Her seminar was interesting. A statistic she quoted that got our attention was that 70% of pastors in Oklahoma City resigned from their posts within a year after the bombing that took place there in 1995. The pastors were not equipped to deal with the tragedy. Now there are services such as this STAR program to help caregivers deal with trauma: their own and others'.
One of the self assessment tools stuck out to me. The tool asks you to record on paper twenty things you love to do and then asks you to think about how often you've done them in the last: 1 week? 1 month? 6 months? 1 year? 5 years? So let me list my top five and record how often I've done them.
Play basketball -- zero times in past week, zero times in past month, one time in past six months, five times in past year, ? in past five years
Go to movies -- zero times in past week, one time in past month, four times in past six months, ? times in past year, ? in past five years
Preach -- zero times in past week, zero times in past month, two times in past six months, four times in past year, ? in past five years (I used to preach every Sunday until coming to Manhattan)
Read -- I do this a lot (just finished The Corrections
, a good read)
, Sesame Street
or The Wiggles
with my daughter -- every day!
I miss playing ball, movie-watching and preaching. And while reading and watching toddler shows are fun I long to participate in those other activities again. My guess is that as we grow older and take on more responsibilities that, for the sake of others, we begin to let go (though not completely) of those things we love to do. So while I would long to run a well executed pick 'n roll or catch up on all the Oscar picks, for now I'll gladly sit with my daughter and sing Elmo's theme song. "La, la, la, la. La, la, la, la. Elmo's World!"