Road-Weary Leaders

This past trip to Kentucky ( which I’m still on) has left this husband and father road weary. I’ve joked that I’m not just tired, I’m ‘mission trip tired.’  No complaints, mind you. Seeing family and friends that we had not seen in years did wonders for my soul. Visiting the farm where my dad grew up shook the rust off a number of memories from my own childhood was a treasure.

Yet, problems arose. My car needed a new alternator (money) which meant we needed to rent a car (more money) which meant not doing all we had planned to do. That increased my weariness as well. 

This happens to leaders as well. My friend Rick Lewis spoke to me recently about how even the best of circumstances and the smoothest of changes a leader brings to an organization can still put miles on you. He’s right. Every week, a new adventure arises for the leader, who then has to make that hard decision, have that hard conversation, execute that difficult move, and pour himself heart and soul into a people he loves. The goal is Christlikeness, both in the people and the leader himself.

So what do we do when will you grow road weary? What do we do to stave it off before it happens?

Peter Scazzero’s book, The Emotionally Healthy Leader includes an illustration that may help:

image

So what do we see here? In the secular rhythm, we see some at work, work, work followed by a vacation, then work, work, work. In looking at the sacred rhythm, we see the Sabbaths are interspersed all through life. I believe of the author is on to something here, leading me to purchase this book explore it all the more. For you see, in God’s providence, I just picked up this book off the shelf and turned to this page. This was no accident.

Sabbaths filled with Scripture, prayer, meditation, journaling, seeking godly counsel, reading spiritually rich authors who sat at the feet of Jesus, exercise, eating well–these things help us avoid road weariness.

On my way back to Kentucky, I will have the urge to plow on with as few stops as possible, all with the goal of getting as many miles in the rearview mirror as possible.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll take a few breaks along the way to see the sights.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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