Grace instead of guilt.

I work part time as a church secretary.  This isn't the first time in my life that I've been a secretary, and if there's one universal thing about being a secretary, it's this: Some days you have a lot of down time.

I'm smart and I work quickly on 75% of the tasks I'm given with few to no mistakes and minimal supervision.  I've surprised more than one supervisor with how quickly I can complete tasks.  However, working quickly leads to even more down time.

The church I'm at is transitioning from one pastor to another, and the new pastor is still getting moved and settled.  Even though he's already told me he won't have much for me to help him with for a few weeks, I still make it a habit to ask him once or twice a week if there's anything he needs me to do.  I've asked previous supervisors at other jobs the same thing.  And sometimes, there just isn't a lot of work to do.

I'm not complaining about having downtime.  I really, truly appreciate that it's a luxury that most people don't have in their jobs.

However, I also feel guilty on the days when I have so little to do that I'm getting paid to just wait for the phone to ring.

This morning, our Visitation Pastor came into the office.  He's this adorable eighty-something year old man with an even more adorable eighty-something year old wife.  He's a retired United Methodist pastor and was hired two years ago visit church members who are in the hospital, nursing homes, hospice, or long term care at home.  He asked me if I was keeping busy, and I told him that with the pastoral transition, there really isn't a lot for me to do right now.

He said, "God gives us each a job to do.  Some days you have so much to do that it seems the day will never end.  Some days you have very little to do.  I think God's OK with us having days when we have very little to do, and we shouldn't feel guilty about being given the opportunity to have a slow day.  We shouldn't feel guilty for being paid to do nothing.  We should enjoy the rest the slow days give us because there will be busy day later when the day seems like it will never end."

I have never, ever in my life had someone tell me that about down time at work.  I told him thank you for telling me that and that I appreciate hearing it and knowing that someone understands.

After he left, I thanked God for the people in my life who He speaks through.

And I'm sharing this with you because I think you need to hear it too.  I was shown grace this morning, and I want to share that with you today.

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