Most of my life I have done work in service of others. I spent over 3 decades providing pastoral leadership in churches and another 15 years working at a seminary training people to become clergy.  During the past 7 years I have been an executive coach and congregational consultant.

One of the things that all three of these phases of my life shared was the unpredictability of the job. You could make plans but were never sure that someone might come along that would require that you change your plans. Office hours were terribly unpredictable.

But several years ago I finally found the sign for my office door that reflected the reality of my job. Deb and I were hiking the Milford Track in New Zealand and after a couple of days through the rain forest, we went over a mountain on which it was snowing.  In the hut at the top where we had some hot chocolate and a snack, I found this sign:


Open most days about 9-10,
Occasionally as early as 7 but some days as late
As 12 or 1.
We close about 5 or 6
Occasionally about 4 or 5
But sometimes as late as 11 or 12.
Some days or afternoons we aren’t here at all
But lately I have been here just about all the time—
Except when I am someplace else but I should
Be here then too!!

Now that I am partially retired and work only part time, this still adorns my door as a reminder that I have practiced this schedule all my life.  

And it has been a really good life!!