Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hobbies and Pastimes: Road To Wholeness

Marilyn A. Hudson
 'de-stressing' via art
I worked with a dear friend many years ago whose husband had been a minister in another tradition. A terrible situation erupted in their church where he had to confront individuals and demand they leave the church due the severity of events. It tore him up and the job was further finished as they church shoved him through a meat grinder of judgment, gossip, hatred, and rejection.  He balanced precariously on the chasm of a nervous breakdown but instead had a massive heart attack.  The doctors told him he had balance his life and find an outlet that allowed him to de-stress without the threat of another heart attack ending his troubles.  He reluctantly attended some classes on making candles but it did the trick and he developed a love for it creating some of the most lovely candles he would make for couples getting married, babies newly born and as gifts. They featured curling exterior designs, artist features and careful attention to detail. He lived, more stress free for nearly thirty years after that heart attack a richer and more peace filled personal life.
Dr. Hudson playing bass with a band

Fast forward to a lunch with Bishop Dan Solomon many decades ago. As a newly assigned clergy couple, he looked at my husband and myself as asked, "Do you have any hobbies?  Hobbies can be very important to keep the work in perspective. Outside interests are good."

John Wesley - and generations of other ministry leaders - set the pace as non-stop service and mission but Jesus reminds us a boat ride away from the crowd can be a good break.  But being about the business of the Gospel is often confused with the 'busy-ness" of the Gospel.  An endless round of pointless activity does no one service and potentially leaves great harm in its wake as families can be neglected, marriages ignored and valuable friends never made.  The poignant term in old Methodist papers for caring for the old and "worn-out" preachers says a lot.

Dr. Hudson with his observatory
Sometimes people can be driven and so instead of relaxing they merely trade one set of driven activities for another.  They say it is a need to be active.  A different pace, a different view, a different schedule can be as relaxing and stimulating as that 5K race or that bike ride. Time focused on learning new things, developing new skills and enhancing our sense of who we are apart from the roles and the titles can be exhilarating! 
Engage your mind, your body, and your spirit as you live your life and fulfill your purpose. Engage them to create wholeness and balance them all to live meaningfully.


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