It’s a lie we tell ourselves: “I am too busy to exercise. This work is too important.”
Pastors are among the biggest culprits in perpetuating this myth, and not surprisingly suffer from high rates stress, emotional distress, addiction, and burnout. Many pastors sacrifice their short- and long-term health in the name of their ministry, which to them seems too busy and important to pause for even a 30-minute workout. In the end, their ministry suffers and, at times, is even cut short.
I was struck by a recent profile Michael Lewis (author of Moneyball, The Big Short, and The Blind Side) did of President Barack Obama, in which Obama talks about his exercise regimen. Lewis writes,
“When he awakens at seven, he already has a jump on things. He arrives at the gym on the third floor of the residence, above his bedroom, at 7:30. He works out until 8:30 (cardio one day, weights the next)....”
“‘You have to exercise,’ [Obama] said, for instance. ‘Or at some point you’ll just break down.’”
You have to exercise or at some point you'll just break down.