“One of the most important self-boundaries that leaders have to establish is against the tendency to put off changes that they know need to be made.” – Dr. Henry Cloud
There are some things from the 90s that should definitely stay in the 90s.
Like the hair. I literally had the same hair from grade 6-12. I knew it was bad, but I did it anyway. No, I wasn’t a Trump fan. I was a fan, though, of Star Wars t-shirts and sweatpants. No, I won’t post a picture. I still have some dignity. Quite honestly, in junior high I had no time to think about changing my clothes or my hair. I lived a highly regimented life. I was involved in band (and no one is shocked), youth group, badminton and piano lessons, and studied routinely for an hour a day after school.
I wasn’t a total stick in the mud. I was also a nintendo savant (and again no one is surprised). And while it is easy to be critical of Grade 6 Jeremy for his tidy appearance and apparent inability to have normal teenage fun, I remember Grade 6 Jeremy as being exceptionally happy. He had a vibrant, highly disciplined spiritual life, a few good friends, and all the self-awareness of the average 25 year-old.
The second reason I’m going back to the 90s is because, then, a disciplined schedule was a non-negotiable. Again, I have great parents to thank for setting those boundaries for me. But now, as a 34 year old pastor, it is very easy to let others determine how I should fill my schedule. David Waitley said, “The easiest thing to do in the world is to neglect the important and give in to the urgent.” This is especially true for pastors. Though I certainly don’t have it all together in this area, here are two simple changes I have made that have helped me to set good boundaries:
- I moved back my office hours to 8AM, and for that hour I take no appointments. This is time for disciplines. I practice silence and solitude, study and memorize scripture, pray and listen. I do no intercessory work or sermon preparation during this hour.
- I schedule family time every day between 2:30-5. This time works especially well since I have young children. I want to be there when they get home from school and spend time talking about their day. Having realistic, set office hours also helps me to mentally clock out.
Thanks for the tips, Junior High Jeremy. Keep on smiling, and for goodness sake, get a real hair cut.
By Jeremy Nippard