Editorial

Back Surgery and Balance

God has created us as wholistic beings--a wonderful blend of spiritual, mental, social, emotional, and physical.

Willie E. Hucks II is associate editor of Ministry Magazine. 

In early 2010, I underwent back surgery. My surgeon assured me that after six weeks of rest and recuperation, followed by a prescribed regimen of physical therapy, I would be as good as new.

When I started the physical therapy, something I previously never had to endure, I found it mentally and physically grueling. I was making progress, but that progress lured me into a false sense of security—that everything was back to normal and I didn’t need to complete the full course of treatment. I felt good.

But the passing of time has revealed things that I didn’t see right away. I can’t jump as high as I once could. I struggle to walk in a straight line. While standing to pray, I have to either keep my eyes open when I bow my head or touch something if closing my eyes. Why? Because I have balance issues. 

In ministry, so-called success has occasionally lured me into a false sense of security—causing me to believe that everything is as it should be. But as I start this new year, I find myself analyzing whether or not my life and ministry are balanced. What must I do to either regain or maintain balance?1

Nurture my relationship with my wife

Everything that my wife and I do seems to revolve around our two adult children’s growth and development. But to what degree do we take time for each other? To what degree do I constantly remind her that she is my queen?

The need to balance home and professional life does not exclusively reside in the realm of ministry. Even as I write these words, my wife is working on lesson plans for her students. Yet, I still need to remind myself that the ever-pressing demands of my calling must occasionally yield to the higher calling of actively demonstrating to my wife that she is the most important person in my life.

Read a book each month

Recently, I packed a book in my suitcase—with hopes of reading it while on a short trip to visit my parents. Unfortunately, I fell short of my goal. There seemed not to be enough time to spend with my parents and tend to other responsibilities.

As pastors, we owe it to our church members and others to be informed and conversant about various issues. More than that, we owe it to ourselves and our families to exercise our minds, providing appropriate mental stimulation that potentially wards off debilitating diseases.2

Exercise several times each week

My work schedule has always cre­ated unexpected obstacles to regular, consistent exercise. I find it easy to rel-egate physical activity to the back burner.

I have discovered that regularly taking my 40-minute walk a minimum of four times per week leaves me feel­ing less stressed and more refreshed. And as an added bonus, it provides more time with my wife—because we usually walk together. I struggle with consistency; but laboring for that balance pays tremendous dividends both mentally and physically.

Remain in touch with the community

During that aforementioned recent visit with my parents, I drove them around as they ran errands. While doing so, I could not help but notice the chang­ing demographics of the neighborhood in which I was raised. Suddenly, I realized that I spend so much time doing the work of the church that I don’t spend nearly as much time as I once did assess­ing and addressing the needs of those in my community who need to see Jesus.

A key element of professional bal­ance is to spend time with the often unacknowledged church members and the disenfranchised residents in our communities. My ministry should not be defined by adherence to programs; rather, it should be recognized by attention to people.

My vow for 2016

God has created us as wholistic beings—a wonderful blend of spiritual, mental, social, emotional, and physical. And, because He wants me to reflect the fullness of His intentions for me, I must strive for that equilibrium in every aspect of my life.

Will you join me in making this vow?

 

1 I list and elaborate upon four items in this editorial. However, there is a fifth one, revolving around prayer and Bible study, that I addressed in an editorial several years ago. See “Seven Goals for the New Year,” Ministry (January 2012), 5.

2 See “Risk Factors,” alz.org, accessed November 8, 2015, www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_causes_ risk_factors.asp

1 I list and elaborate upon four items in this editorial. However, there is a fifth one, revolving around prayer and Bible study, that I addressed in an editorial several years ago. See “Seven Goals for the New Year,” Ministry (January 2012), 5.

2 See “Risk Factors,” alz.org, accessed November 8, 2015, www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_causes_ risk_factors.asp


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Willie E. Hucks II is associate editor of Ministry Magazine. 

January 2016

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