Reading is Real Work
A good word from Gordon MacDonald’s Ordering Your Private World:
Some months ago I led a seminar for pastors on the subject of preaching, and discussed the matters of study and preparation. Since a number of spouses were present when I spoke, I said to the group, “Now, some of you may be tempted to think that when your spouse is reading, they are really expending second-class time. So you are liable to feel free to interrupt them on impulse. What you need to realize is that they are working every bit as much as the carpenter who is in his shop sharpening the blade of a saw. Within reason, you ought not only to avoid interrupting your spouses, but also to try your best to maximize their privacy if you want them to grow in effectiveness.”
Two additional thoughts. First, the main thing I want to emphasize here is not his point on interruptions (though that is an important consideration — as long as taken together with his “within reason”). Rather, the main thing I want to emphasize is simply that reading is real work. When the purpose is study and learning, it is not second-class, throw-away time.
Second, the importance of reading is true not just for pastors, but for people in all vocations. Everyone in any vocation should devote time to reading and studying to advance their skills and ability to be effective in what they do. And when you do this, it is not leisure time, but real, first-rate work that is just as important (perhaps more important) than the rest of the work that you do.