Every year for a while in the summertime I take my pastor hat off and put on my “Kathryn’s husband” hat on. My wife is the artistic director for an arts organization called SouthEast Wisconsin Performing Arts (SEWPA). Their flagship program is called Opera ala Carte, and involves about 30 high school and college students, 30 elementary students, a dozen dancers, and about a bazillion volunteers. This year they did an amazing production of The Fairy Queen by Henry Purcell and The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert & Sullivan.
It pretty much consumes the Peperkorn household for about a month and a half. It is also more fun than one family ought to be allowed to have. Between building sets, singing, working on publicity, parades, and heaven knows what else, we all get in the act somewhere.
But it’s all over now. The kids are heading back to school or off to college. Things slowly return to normal. The sets are struck, the paperwork is coming, etc., etc., etc.
This has also gotten me thinking of how much this mirrors the life of the pastor. We go through cycles and periods of intense work and preparation, where it culminates and is then over in a short period of time. Lent. Easter. Advent. Christmas. VBS. This is interspersed with the daily work of the office that never ends (calls, weekly services, bible class, etc).
How do you manage these cycles so that they can have their own fulfillment, yet at the same time continue to look forward to what is coming next? I have a pretty obsessive personality, so it is easy for me to immerse myself in an event or an emergency or a place. What is hard for me is the daily grind. If I don’t have some big thing coming, I get bored, which makes me depressed.
How do you manage these fine lines of time and energy? Do you think there is a comparison here?