The "routine", The failure

by Pathofthorns 27 Replies latest jw friends

  • Pathofthorns

    Is it possible to do all that is required as a Witness?

    If one were to put down on paper all that is required to carry out, both with secular work and a good spiritual routine, is it even possible to do all that one is "supposed" to do?

    A basic routine includes:

    Theocratic Ministry School/Service meeting+preparation

    Book Study + Preparation

    Public Talk/Watchtower + Preparation

    1 magazine a week

    1 family study

    service Saturday morning, possibly Sunday/ midweek evening

    If one is an elder, add:

    elder's meetings

    shepherding visits

    Meeting part preparation

    Other Christian Duties include:


    Visiting the sick

    Add daily routine:

    Secular Work

    Home/Vehical repairs (unexpected occurances)


    This is just a sample. It appears the routine will inevitably cause everyone to "fail" at doing what they are "required". Everyone wants to do more, but cannot even do what is required.

    It is this routine, and constant failure that has lead to much of the depression in the truth. Perhaps lack of attention, especially to children of elders who have an unusually heavy load, leads to the unusually high amount of elder's children going astray. I believe the excessive amount of time spent in coffee shops on Saturday morning is due to a lack of time to show hospitality on other occasions.

    It is no wonder why so many people feel as if they are on a hampster wheel. Always running, but not really getting anywhere, except getting tired. People feel that they can never do enough. The truth of the matter, is they never will.


  • RedhorseWoman

    I think that that is the whole point. Keep the goals unattainable. Keep people scurrying and striving but never succeeding.

    I at one time attempted to do all that was required. I pioneered for three years while trying to work and take care of everything else.

    My health fell apart and I ended up in the hospital, which necessitated my quitting the pioneer ranks. And the odd thing is, I was made to feel guilty for "failing".

    Ask SC about these sorts of unattainable goals.

  • Kismet

    I often viewed with fascination that the thing that helps a lot of people is also the thing that causes the most frustration.

    It seemed many thrived having such a schedule made for them. There was a definite path, routine and they followed it.

    Others found this to be intrusive overly demanding and completely frustrating due to it being a never-ending objective.

    My father left the Org in the mid - 70's and his only reason he would ever give was that he couldn't measure up to the standards. No matter what he did, iIt was never enough.

    While serving at bethel I also tried to do everything. I aux pioneered two months per year while serving at Bethel (first 6 years) but there was always someone more than eager to tell me where I could do more. I slowly began to better understand my father's reasonings.

    So some people do enjoy (need) the hampster wheel others need to explore and discover the maze that life offers.


  • Dubby


    I know what you mean. Try throwing in "unbelieving" mate and three kids into the mix. Leaving her on all those days you described, taking three small kids to the hall by myself, ignoring her and the kids while I used all my time after work to study for meetings and talks and doing the congregation accounts. PLUS trying to please her, the kids AND the Society. Ain't gonna happen. I was stressed beyond what I could handle. As a ministerial servant being groomed for eldership, certain things are expected, like most of your time. And the C.O. complained when he saw that my hours in field service were below average. The elders had to plead with him to let me stay an m.s.

    I used all my vacation time to go to conventions. You can bet my wife was pleased with that. I'm suprised to this day that I'm still married.

    "Enjoy God's creation, ride a dirt bike!"

  • Martini


    It's paradoxical but we are in a 'ALL or Nothing religion'. Everyone legitimatly complains that we are over loaded but if you choose to do less a person is ostracized. And yet it's true doing less inevitably leads to total inactivity in the Watchtower 'form of worship'.
    IMO to be a "happy" Jehovah's Witness you have got to do it all or nothing really. I am having a difficult time finding a satisfactory middle ground perhaps because there is none.
    Could it be this routine came about by design for the sole purpose to ensure survival of the WT as an Organization?
    If the WTS eliminates any of the 'not optional' activities guess what will happen...yes people will do less to the point where they will become comfortable will the least amount possible and finally give up!
    What will become of the Society's printing operations if there were no new members and/or the money stopped coming in regularly?
    I could answer that but I will refrain.
    Our 'routine' is designed to ensure the preaching work continues un-hindered. Again, why?
    Although the preaching work is labeled the lifeline for the survival of billions of people, I think it is also the lifeline for the survival our Organization.
    Is it any wonder every second sentence has something to do with field service?

    Get to work NOW is not the time for Slacking of the hands!
    Yours with comely feet,

  • Friend


    Is it possible to do all that is required as a Witness?

    I think that failure to perform—if I can apply that term—depends upon the extent that each is compelled to perform. Without a doubt persons going to an extreme in even one of certain areas mentioned could fail in terms of performance. There are quite a few of those and they inevitably fail. When just depends upon how much gas was in their tank in the first place. Those with lots of fuel usually land the hardest.

    The overall thrust of your comments provides several good points. You highlight that we must not loose sight of our limitations; doing so is self-defeating.

    Once at a meeting of elders the question was asked, “Who comes first, you, your family or the congregation?” Answers from the audience of elders ranged all over the place, which is normal for what amounts to a brainstorming session. Finally the chairman said, “You should come first.” While that answer would not prevail in all circumstances, from a his perspective it was an answer worth considering. He reminded those men that unless they took care of themselves first that they could not help their families or the congregation. From that perspective I agreed with his comment.

    Sometimes we need to just sit back and take stock of our lives and how we divvy ourselves out.

    For example, when meetings start become a huge burden because of preparation then perhaps it is time to just take the view that, “This week I am just going to go sit and enjoy the company of my friends.” If we get anything out of the meeting then fine, otherwise we have still had an enjoyable evening within our limitations.

    Meetings may also become a burden because of how worn-out we are from just daily living, besides going to the meeting that night or day. Then maybe we need to stay home and recoup. Several months back I was out in service with a publisher that was just not at all enjoying themselves. I asked, “Do you really want to be out today?” When they said, “No” then I suggested that the two of us leave the group and do something else. We did just that, thereby saving ourselves for another day in the future. There is nothing wrong with that.

    We should all do no more than we are able. That is the basic counsel in your sage advice here, and it agrees with our Master Jesus’ words that we must love God with our whole heart and with our whole soul and with our whole mind. Jesus said nothing about loving our God with more than we are. If anyone demands of us more than that then we should give them what-for in that instance, if we bother replying to it at all.

    I appreciated this post of yours, Pathofthorns.


    Edited by - Friend on 9 June 2000 13:10:2

  • Frenchy
    Is it possible to do all that is required as a Witness?

    In a word, no. Paul, in his letter to the Romans addresses the issue of 'works'. Now Paul approaches this subject from the standpoint of 'works of the law' meaning, of course, the Mosaic law but not exclusively so. Please note in chapter two and verse 10 he speaks of the Greek AND the Jew in connection with 'works'. Nonetheless, Paul uses the Mosaic law to make his argument for faith rather than the dependence on 'works' as the criteria for becoming declared righteous by God.
    A careful examination of that letter might lead one to believe that Paul, who was writing to Christians and not the Jewish population in general, was trying to establish a principle here. Have we perhaps, today, fallen into the trap of becoming complacent in our 'routine'? Has the routine become more important that it's purpose? Has the routine achieved such importance as to now be the focal point of the faith? Have we arrived at the conclusion that without this routine there can be no faith? Do we now need this routine as a security blanket around us in order for us to feel that we are doing all we should to please God? Could this possibly be turning into idolatry? Is the tail wagging the dog here?
    I say let's talk about God and his son and not about meetings and organizations. I say that God alone is worthy of worshipful honor, praise, glory, and loyalty. I hear statements (from the literature and then parroted later on by individuals) like: "Oh, yeah? And where did you learn everything you know? Let's have some gratitude here for your teacher." In response I say: "So your gift was not really a gift at all, was it? It was conditional. You pretended to give for worshipful honor in return."
    I wonder just how many people have ever really considered just what it means to worship. Here is part of the definition from one dictionary:

    The ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed. Ardent devotion; adoration.;To regard with ardent or adoring esteem or devotion:To participate in religious rites of worship.

    I think that we need to be very careful about 'worship'. I think we need to be very careful about where our "adoring esttem or devotion" is directed. I think we need to be very careful about all the 'religious forms' that are prescribed to us and meditate very deeply on who is actually being worshipped here.
    Speaking for myself only, I fear that I have cried out for a golden calf, something tangible to see in order for me to worhsip God, and an Aaron was standing by and was only too happy to accomodate my request.

  • RedhorseWoman


    Continuing with your thoughts on this, I remember speaking with a long-time friend about this subject.

    She told me she was rather surprised to find herself asking, "What would the Society think about this?" rather than "What would Jehovah think about this?"

    We are constantly admonished to listen to the FDS. They are the ONLY ones who can supposedly determine what it is Jehovah wants. They are the ONLY means for approaching our God.....

    Golden calf.....hmmmmmm

  • waiting

    Anybody remember that Watchtower study in which we were taught not to say: "The Society said this, the Society teaches us that....."

    Instead we were supposed to say: "The Bible says this, the Bible teaches us that...."

    As far as this goes, it's true. Many of our beliefs are based on the Bible - but many are taught directly from the Society/Corporation. Such as 5 hrs. meetings a week, FDS only channel on earth able to use Jesus as mediator to pray to Jehovah.

    Some persons challenge: Well, why stay if you think the Society is evil. I don't think they're evil - I don't know what to believe. And I want to find the true facts so that I can for the first time, make an educated decision.

    I've been in the routine of worshiping my God so long that I wouldn't know what true worship felt like. I would like to know, but I think the trip is long.....

  • Roamingfeline

    To Martini,

    You hit the nail squarely on the head, Martini! No worky, no Organization. No money, no organization. No pushy the mags, no Organization.

    So what if you come to all the meetings? If you don't sell the mags and get the people in and convince them to contribute their incomes, No Organization.

    Is this JEHOVAH's organization, or a publishing companies' organization run by guilt of the masses?

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