Dear Church Secretaries: Stop! — Humpday Message

It’s the Pits

They trip on ropes they’ve hidden, and fall into pits they’ve dug themselves. Job 18:10

On busy workdays, I often leave my office only when nature calls, and then I wonder why I’m exhausted at the end of the day. When a project is going smoothly, and it will only take a few minutes to complete, it’s easy to get into pitfalls. A few I’ve perfected during my career:

  • Ignoring breaks. Breaks refresh the mind and the body. Many states in the U.S. have included paid breaks in their labor-law policies; most employers recommend this practice.
  • Eating lunch at your desk. Working through lunch not only keeps you from socializing with co-workers in the lunch room, it also lessens your enjoyment of the food you are eating and can cause overeating.
  • Snacking on sugary treats while working. Do you ever wonder who ate all the M&Ms in the candy dish on your desk? Try adding a mixture of healthy nuts—almonds, cashews, walnuts—to sweet treats, and limit this snack to one handful a day.
  • Working overtime—unauthorized and unpaid. Telling yourself that “I work for my church, and it’s part of my ministry.” Working overtime without documenting the hours can lead to a continually overworked employee.

One evening I drove home from a long day of work and couldn’t remember which route I’d driven. But I had finished the report my boss had asked for, and I knew he’d be happy to see it on his desk when he arrived the next morning. He might not have been happy with me if he’d seen me driving home under the influence of no breaks during the day.

Lord, help us to remember that Jesus pulled away from his ministry to be refreshed, and that we should, too. Amen.

Story from Incidents II, available through

About lindagillis

I am a retired church office servant, a writer, speaker for conferences, events, and retreats, and advocate for those who work in the church office. I began writing seriously after winning the 2006 Guideposts Writer's Workshop and being published in "Guideposts" and "Angels on Earth" magazines. I have self-published two book, "The Donut Theory--Meditation and Inspiration for the Church Office" and "Humble Beginnings--Daily Meditation Moments". My other passion is family and traveling to visit family and friends.
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