The DIA Syndrome


Have you noticed that medical conditions are all referred to by an alphabetic code?  Who ever heard of RLS (“restless leg syndrome”) until a drug was invented to cure it.  My wife calls RLS “dog leg,” which she says I have, but I am not going to the doctor and tell him, “My wife sent me to get the cure for ‘dog leg.'” 

I do have a condition that I need help with from time to time, however.  I suffer from chronic DIA — Do it all syndromeThat’s right, I think I have to do everything at my church.  Or, if not do everything, then I have to provide the answer or solution or jump in to help whoever it is that’s doing whatever it is that’s being done.

DIA is a serious condition that afflicts most of the pastors I know, and it is most rampant in small church pastors.  Genetic or environmental, I’m not sure.  Anyway, there is hope, as you might expect.  Here’s the treatment program —

  1. Turn in your Superman costume.  That’s right, the one with the big “S” under your dress shirt.  Go into the phone booth, take it off, and turn it in.  Along with that, surrender your super powers like omniscience, omnipresence, and x-ray vision.  You will not be needing them anymore.
  2. Practice the ancient Tibetan mantra — Ohm naut dueng thaat.  (Sounds remarkably like, “I’m not doing that” but that’s just a coincidence.)
  3. Find someone to do the heavy lifting.  This is especially helpful on piano-moving day, but I’m really talking about something else.  Get someone to help you with difficult tasks — like telling the “Brides Class” they have to give up the Sunday School room they have had for the past 57 years.  Believe me, you do not want that job!
  4. Share the glory!  And there is a lot of glory in pastoring a small church, isn’t there?  Well, share some of it.  Give someone else the satisfaction you get when you do it all.
  5. Get away, take some time off.  Okay, so you can’t do it this week because you’ve already been off for Christmas, New Year’s, and who knows what other time you’ve wasted.  But get off the big gerbel wheel occasionally, just for a cup of coffee with your spouse, if nothing else. 

I am happy to report that having taken the steps above myself, I am in remission from DIA syndrome.  Of course, the office has been closed for four days, and I do have a committee meeting tomorrow, the year-end financials are due, I have Wednesday night Bible study to prepare for, hospital visits to make, some prospects to visit, a storage closet to straighten up, and…..

5 thoughts on “The DIA Syndrome”

  1. Amen Amen…. There is nothing better than not having to carry 700 lists anymore… I only carry 600 now… it took my church admin to teach me the latin phrase “Leytum Duit”. Oddly enough they do… part of planting a new work is nearly all of the start up projects you, as pastor, do need to do but it need not include passing out flyers, picking up chairs,making coffee and cleaning up after the service.

  2. I wonder if there’s a connection between having restless leg syndrome and DIA syndrome? Great post, Chuck. Everyone can benefit from settling down and taking themselves a little less seriously.

  3. Holly,

    I think the answer is, “YES!!” Maybe because doing something means you don’t have enough time to let your legs be restless. I thought recently that I haven’t felt the symptoms of RLS in a long time–maybe it’s time for a break.

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