Thursday, July 11, 2013
Crying Out for the Healing Waters of Silence
“The sheer physical necessity [of taking time to go alone to pray] is urgent because the body and the entire nervous system cry out for the healing waters of silence.”
- Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart, 27
Pastors and Christian leaders are flaming out all around us. They suffer from depression, obesity, and burnout. For the evidence see the nytimes article "Taking a Break From the Lord’s Work."
Many pastors don't take vacations or days off. “These people tend to be driven by a sense of a duty to God to answer every call for help from anybody, and they are virtually called upon all the time, 24/7,” says Duke professor Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell.
Clergy health studies say that many clerics have “boundary issues” — defined as being too easily overtaken by the urgency of other people’s needs.
My estimate is that 80% of North American pastors do not have a significant prayer life. They don't slow down, they don't enter into solitude. They burn out. Just this alone, not to mention the fact that our Lord Jesus went to lonely places alone and prayed, shows that Christian leaders must begin to carve out time alone with God, for the sake not only of their own souls and bodies, but for God's sake as well.