Sep 252014 5 Responses

Working 10 to 12

I was a pastor today—all day. I woke up to a text message from someone in need and 15 hours later I came home just in time to put my son to bed.

These days are rare. I work for a church that doesn’t allow its staff to regularly work hours like I did today, but there are occasions in which it is necessary.

I don’t feel called to pastor. It’s what I do. I enjoy it, but it’s not my calling. (See: Sometimes You’ve Got to Mow the Driveway)

The pastorate is the current place in which I express my calling, but it may not always be the place.

I feel called to use words to tell stories and express ideas. Speaking those words is the most fun, but writing them is enjoyable as well.

I am able to pastor because on most days that job allows me to express my true calling. But not every day.

Some days, like today, force me to shelve my heart’s desire in order to do what others need. It’s a privilege to help, but it’s not something which brings my soul fully alive. (See: Stop Squandering Your Time)

Today I was a pastor, but at no point did I really use my gifts or live out my calling or do what I think God created me to do.

But the day isn’t over. It’s almost over, but a small amount remains.

I have a choice. I can either chalk this day up to one in which I don’t get to do what I truly love or I can get to work. Exhausted, mentally drained, and hoping that tomorrow is more productive, I can turn on my laptop, open a blank document, and begin to write.

The choice is fully mine. (See: You Always Have an Excuse)

I didn’t have much of a choice today regarding my schedule, but I have 100% control over the next two hours. I can use them as I wish.

Every day I talk to people who have dreams which are unfulfilled. They feel as though they aren’t living out their potential. They have callings which they feel are not expressed.

When we talk about their desires, they often describe their lives as if they are beyond their control. They want to do something, but they don’t have time.

I nearly always ask, “What do you do at 10pm?”

For me it is the ultimate test. (See: You Chose This–a Reflection on Time Management)

At the end of the day, when your job is over and the demands of your house are generally met, what do you do?

Few people understand the power of two hours a day. Whatever your dream, spending two hours a day on it will make it become reality. Whatever your calling, spending two hours a day on it will bring you fulfillment. Whatever your talent, spending two hours a day on it will improve it.

When people say they don’t have time, I simply do not believe them. We all have the same amount of time as everyone else. Sure, there are busy seasons. No doubt there are days in which we have little choices. But by and large, we will make time for that which we want to do. And even it means skipping dinner, losing sleep, and overlooking a dirty kitchen, we can at least work from 10–12 at night to do what we think we were created to do.

For too many people, they think their jobs are holding them back from their dreams. Stop using your job as your excuse. It pays the bills. It might allow you to express part of your gifting. It could teach you more skills than you would have otherwise. Your job is not the reason your dreams aren’t coming true. You unwillingness to work at the edges of the day—early in the morning or late at night—is the real reason you’re not expressing your calling. (See: Stop Waiting On Your Boss)

My life has been dramatically altered for the good by common people who spent the edges of their day doing what they felt they were created to do. Some practiced music and every Sunday they lead me in worship. Some studied the Bible and as a kid they would teach my Sunday School class every week. Some coached little league teams and they gave their time so I could learn a sport.

It wasn’t their job, but their job paid the bills so they could spend their other hours doing what they truly enjoyed.

My job isn’t a job. I enjoy the pastorate and I’m lucky to get paid to do what I do. However, there are days in which I do not feel as though I’m expressing my calling. Thankfully I always know that no matter what the day holds, no one chooses what I do from 10–12 at night except me. And for at least two hours a day, I can do what brings me the deepest sense of meaning and satisfaction.

5 Responses to Working 10 to 12
  1. legerag Reply

    You gave me a lot to think about. Thanks!

  2. Caleb Reply

    Hey, I thought your text was funny btw. It just scared me at first. A few weeks ago you mentioned something about serving in one of your posts. It was a minor part of a minor point. I decided I needed to serve, or at least when it came to a choice I had to make shortly after reading your blog. It turned out to be something that was important that I do, though I didn’t know it at the time. From this post, it seems like a huge idea that I could serve God and others doing something that gives me great joy. To tell you the truth I think I believe the total opposite.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I think service to others often brings us great joy and we most often serve others best through the things which bring us joy. Consider a musician–they find great joy in playing and we find great joy in listening. I think that relationship is a common one. We simply must be careful to make sure don’t use a lack of enjoyment as an excuse to not serve.

  3. […] Without other demands and with writing being my only task, forcing myself to write would be far more... kevinathompson.com/excuse-actually-advantage

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