Why do you think you have to do that?

One of my friends asked if I had any suggested resources on time management for chaplains and pastors. I wrote back and said that often times when I dealing with time management, the questions are really dealing with dealing with attention management or focus management or identity management or other things. When my friend and I talked, I realized it’s often very useful for us to ask the question “Why do I think I need to do that?”

On the runThose who are in helping professions, those who are involved in caring for other people, and even those are carrying out the commands of Jesus to love one another often find ourselves with a very full schedules of helping people. We are involved going to funerals and weddings, we are involved in taking phone calls late at night and early in the morning, we feel a burden of trying to help everyone. We want to give and to serve, we want to show up and stay. We want to support and care and be present and check in.

I understand that burden. I have spent a lot of time helping and I a lot of time being helped by the people.

Just the other day, however, I was working. I had a choice: Check back on a family or take care of documenting the activity of the previous two hours? I struggled a bit, and then I asked myself, “Why do I think I have to go check? Is it for them or is it for me?”

I finally realized that going was more about me than the family. More about looking like a helper than actually helping at that moment.

I did the paperwork, and I went home on time.

So that next time you are thinking about helping yet again, join me in a bit of self-examination. Why do you think you have to do that?