Pastors are especially vulnerable to temptation. Our chief problems are discouragement and loneliness. These can easily lead to burnout and so to giving up the struggle. I have never really been tempted to this because I have taken precautions. I have recognised that human being are psychosomatic creatures, so that our bodily condition has a powerful influence on our spiritual life. I have tried to live a disciplined life, ensuring adequate sleep, food and exercise. I have known the great value of friends, to overcome loneliness. Birdwatching is an excellent recreation, for it takes you out into the wilderness with all the sights, sound and smells of nature, and it is relaxing and absorbing to the mind. I don’t think birdwatchers get nervous breakdowns! I have found, however, that the most important of all is a disciplined devotional life, with a determination to meet Christ every day.

John Stott