These gray and latter days….


I hate the gray of winter. I hate it I hate it I hate it. There is something about the color gray that is just evil. Neither black nor white nor color, it is a continual reminder of the mush of our lives, and of how one thing blends into another so much that you can’t tell the difference.

Life. Family. Work. Play. For many they are hard to tell apart. And the busier we get the more those lines become blurred and (ugh) gray. Add to that a little obsessive compulsive tendencies and the easy possibility of becoming overwhelmed, and you have a recipe for an interesting month.

Most pastors will tell you that December and January are when most of the family problems come to a head in the parish, and that it is the time when everyone’s difficulties rise to the surface. This, too, has the effect of graying and mushing everything together, especially for the pastor.

Pastors (all bravado notwithstanding) are generally compassionate people. Pastors have a tendency to put on a tough exterior more as a self-defense mechanism than anything else.

I’m not really good at mechanisms right now. I take everything personally when I am under stress, even things that aren’t directed at me. It drives me batty, which also makes me crazy.

So what do you do when life is gray, stress is high, and things are crashing in upon you? I’d like to hear from you.

-DMR

PS Sorry this isn’t more upbeat and happy. Some posts are just like that.

5 thoughts on “These gray and latter days….”

  1. >>So what do you do< < Watch funny movies.
    Blog too much.
    If I can gather the gumption, do something to FIX things (like decluttering right now).
    Get outdoors in the sunshine at every opportunity, even if it is cold.
    Read aloud to my kids!
    Play hymns on the piano.
    Waste electricity by having too many lights on.

  2. An hour ago I sympathized with you (in that I was feeling similar)… Then I took all the canned foods out of my cupboard, organized them, and put them back. I didn’t have a good reason for this, it was just something that came to my mind as possibly being worth doing. Surprisingly (I know I was surprised), I actually felt mildly better. I also fond some Mandarin oranges I didn’t know I had.

    Luther recommended copious drinking, abundant eating, thinking of a girl, talking with friends, and above all not being alone (AE 54:15-18).

    But if there is some magical formula to help, I’ve never found it.

    Since I don’t think I ever posted before Pastor, I love this blog. Thank you for it. It’s a topic that desperately needs to be addressed in the church- and I’ve found much comfort and hope in reading it.

  3. I left a comment, but it got lost I think….

    It was basically this: I eat sugar. Which is not good.

    But honestly, nothing beats a good hike outdoors. When you get the adrenaline pumping, it does wonders.
    Which is where I’m off to now! 😉

  4. After a very stressful couple of days, I decided to reread your depressing post. December and January—–months I could easily skip each year—–or sleep through. Actually, hibernating sounds like the way to go.

    The reduced amount of sunlight has a dramatic effect on some of us. Sometimes I wonder if maybe we’re the normal ones, and everyone else is abnormal. For me, the holiday season with its built-in cultural expectations, is a nightmare. If I could just sit and contemplate the story of Jesus, or truly help someone, that would be fine. But, no, we are supposed to be enthusiastic about decorating the house, baking up a storm, traipsing around in stores, dressing up and being cheery for countless social gatherings and extra church services, etc.

    And all this you must do while at the same time keeping up with all your regular daily activities. Its for the birds, in my Scroogy opinion.

    Maybe you as a pastor have some of the same feelings this time of year, with the extra church services and activities required of you. Naturally, though, you are the one who has the problem, right? You just don’t quite fit the mold of the world’s set rules, habits, traditions, etc. Sometimes I wonder why we feed into this system.

    But, I’ll continue to try to keep up the appearance of fitting in and enjoying all the insanity. If I don’t keep up that facade, everyone thinks I’m headed for a breakdown again.

    Just now I returned from a walk out in the sunlight. With uncovered eyes, I kept my face upturned to the sun, taking in as many rays as possible without directly looking. It seems to help a bit.

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

These gray and latter days….


I hate the gray of winter. I hate it I hate it I hate it. There is something about the color gray that is just evil. Neither black nor white nor color, it is a continual reminder of the mush of our lives, and of how one thing blends into another so much that you can’t tell the difference.

Life. Family. Work. Play. For many they are hard to tell apart. And the busier we get the more those lines become blurred and (ugh) gray. Add to that a little obsessive compulsive tendencies and the easy possibility of becoming overwhelmed, and you have a recipe for an interesting month.

Most pastors will tell you that December and January are when most of the family problems come to a head in the parish, and that it is the time when everyone’s difficulties rise to the surface. This, too, has the effect of graying and mushing everything together, especially for the pastor.

Pastors (all bravado notwithstanding) are generally compassionate people. Pastors have a tendency to put on a tough exterior more as a self-defense mechanism than anything else.

I’m not really good at mechanisms right now. I take everything personally when I am under stress, even things that aren’t directed at me. It drives me batty, which also makes me crazy.

So what do you do when life is gray, stress is high, and things are crashing in upon you? I’d like to hear from you.

-DMR

PS Sorry this isn’t more upbeat and happy. Some posts are just like that.

0 thoughts on “These gray and latter days….”

  1. >>So what do you do< < Watch funny movies.
    Blog too much.
    If I can gather the gumption, do something to FIX things (like decluttering right now).
    Get outdoors in the sunshine at every opportunity, even if it is cold.
    Read aloud to my kids!
    Play hymns on the piano.
    Waste electricity by having too many lights on.

  2. An hour ago I sympathized with you (in that I was feeling similar)… Then I took all the canned foods out of my cupboard, organized them, and put them back. I didn’t have a good reason for this, it was just something that came to my mind as possibly being worth doing. Surprisingly (I know I was surprised), I actually felt mildly better. I also fond some Mandarin oranges I didn’t know I had.

    Luther recommended copious drinking, abundant eating, thinking of a girl, talking with friends, and above all not being alone (AE 54:15-18).

    But if there is some magical formula to help, I’ve never found it.

    Since I don’t think I ever posted before Pastor, I love this blog. Thank you for it. It’s a topic that desperately needs to be addressed in the church- and I’ve found much comfort and hope in reading it.

  3. I left a comment, but it got lost I think….

    It was basically this: I eat sugar. Which is not good.

    But honestly, nothing beats a good hike outdoors. When you get the adrenaline pumping, it does wonders.
    Which is where I’m off to now! 😉

  4. After a very stressful couple of days, I decided to reread your depressing post. December and January—–months I could easily skip each year—–or sleep through. Actually, hibernating sounds like the way to go.

    The reduced amount of sunlight has a dramatic effect on some of us. Sometimes I wonder if maybe we’re the normal ones, and everyone else is abnormal. For me, the holiday season with its built-in cultural expectations, is a nightmare. If I could just sit and contemplate the story of Jesus, or truly help someone, that would be fine. But, no, we are supposed to be enthusiastic about decorating the house, baking up a storm, traipsing around in stores, dressing up and being cheery for countless social gatherings and extra church services, etc.

    And all this you must do while at the same time keeping up with all your regular daily activities. Its for the birds, in my Scroogy opinion.

    Maybe you as a pastor have some of the same feelings this time of year, with the extra church services and activities required of you. Naturally, though, you are the one who has the problem, right? You just don’t quite fit the mold of the world’s set rules, habits, traditions, etc. Sometimes I wonder why we feed into this system.

    But, I’ll continue to try to keep up the appearance of fitting in and enjoying all the insanity. If I don’t keep up that facade, everyone thinks I’m headed for a breakdown again.

    Just now I returned from a walk out in the sunlight. With uncovered eyes, I kept my face upturned to the sun, taking in as many rays as possible without directly looking. It seems to help a bit.

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *