'Not wanting to let God down can be very stressful'
CHRISTIAN Comment with the Rev Richard Amys, rector of the 'Cotswold Edge' parishes of Eastington, Frocester, Haresfield, Moreton Valence, Standish and Whitminster.
I have been in the incredibly fortunate position of being able to take three months off work recently for a sabbatical, and have spent most of it travelling around the country with my wife and our two dogs in our caravan.
In my normal life as a member of the clergy I often come across people who are overly stressed in their work and life, and generally a change for them is as good as a rest.
For me – I needed both.
In my profession, as in many others, you can’t help but care for the people you come into contact with, often at important times in their lives, and that is fine.
What can happen over years is that the concern you feel for an increasing number of families and individuals has a cumulative effect, to the extent that, for me, I was finding it difficult to ‘hold it together’ at funerals, and worrying that I might have missed something important that could ruin a marriage service, among other things.
(Fortunately I didn’t break down at the funerals, and all the weddings went off without incident.) I love my job – it’s not only a vocation but a calling from God to me.
However, that can just be an extra stress factor – not wanting to let God down!
A sabbatical allowed me the quantity of time as well as the quality time to look at my life and what could be done to refresh it.
Although stress is a normal part of life, when it becomes an overriding concern in your life you have to remove yourself from the causes – be it family, friends, work or whatever – and either change your lifestyle completely or refresh it so you are ready to re-enter the fray.
What would you do?
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