So I have very few protected times in my schedule. Honestly, I live my life giving people/work a lot of accessibility. Maybe too much. I often allow people [read: "my ministry"] to dictate my schedule.
"Hey Paul, I need to meet with you but I can only meet [lists times]."
I look at my calendar. I have sermon writing time scheduled then. I move my sermon prep time to accommodate that person.
"Hey Paul, we have this conference/district pastors' meeting on Monday. It is the best time for us to meet."
I don't need to look at my calendar. I know it is supposed to be my day off. Interesting: a lot of district and conference meetings are set on Mondays. Why? Because they know that pastors are often free those days. It's often a day off for pastors -- so they schedule meetings then. Yes, that is really sick if you think about it. Way to build health into your leaders!
These accommodations may not seem like a big deal for most people, but what it means for me is that I often don't take a full day off. Or I'm often writing at home-- sometimes really late/very early hours of the morning to get some alone time. Or work cuts into family time, or time with my wife.
And for some reason I allow this to happen.
As a pastor I allow others to dictate my schedule. It seems more servant like. You know; holy... to be accessible to everyone at any time.
Well, except for Saturday mornings.
Saturday between 9 and 12 is sacred to me. They are the most protected 3 hours of my week other than our actual weekend worship/gathering times. On rare occasions I have allowed those Saturday morning hours to be intruded on -- a membership class twice a year or an occasional conference meeting. But it's rare. I've said "no" to a lot of great opportunities because they conflict with Saturday mornings.
What is so special about Saturday mornings?
I have a standing date with my daughter at the "House of Breakfast."
I've written about this a lot in the past, so I'm not going to belabor the point. But that time is holy to me. The long walk there and back, holding hands. Reading at the table (currently "Prince Caspian"). Sharing a meal with just the two of us. No hurry. No distractions.
Those moments feed my soul.
I'm writing this because I just found out that my wife scheduled some piano thing for Lydia on a Saturday and she didn't check the time... it's during our holy time. And I'm mad. Really angry. Not at Laura necessarily -- but that my soul will shrink a bit on Saturday missing that time. And it makes me really sad.
I want to establish more routines into my life that feed my soul: dinners with friends, game nights, date nights, trips with my daughter. Which means I have to do less of some things. I just don't know what those things are yet. But something has to go. Somehow I need to free up more time for living beyond my role as pastor. And my role as pastor has to become more defined.