“We wear ourselves out with hard work”.
1 Cor 4:12 GNB
After writing his exam in order to candidate for the ministry one young examinee was asked by his minister how the exam had gone. He said, “No it was easy. If I’d known it was going to be so easy I wouldn’t have worked so hard”. When the results came out he had failed! But did he work hard the next year? There are different kinds of hard work. There is the sheer physical slog of the heavy labourer, moving wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of mixed concrete, and whose back is breaking by three o’clock in the afternoon. There is the hard work of the heavy duty truck driver who has to concentrate intensely hour after weary hour. The machine minder in a factory who has to stay constantly alert for hours on end is a different kind of work.
And Paul found the constant strain of trudging around, preaching, caring for people, explaining the meaning of faith, teaching, praying and checking up on “backsliders” all very tiring. Nurturing newcomers to the faith was demanding too. It was no light task to be an apostle. The Corinthians most probably thought he had an easy time of it. But the work Paul and his fellow apostles did was something you could wear yourself out doing. And Paul did.
Never underestimate the work your pastor or priest has to do. Done well and thoroughly it is demanding, calling for good time management, disciplined work hours and a readiness to go the extra mile. Freed from the constraints of set hours a minister has to carefully husband his or her time, effort and energy in order to squeeze a good day’s work out of each twenty four hours.
Lord, help me to manage my time efficiently.