I’m going to do something most pastors aren’t comfortable doing–but I think it’s important.
I’m confessing that I am tired.
I am tired because it’s Lent and there are a bajillion demands on me and I just don’t feel like I can keep up with them all any more.
I’m tired because my health isn’t that great–no, it’s nothing life-threatening–it’s a thyroid out of whack… but it feels like my requests for prayer just sort of get swept under the carpet. Because preachers do the praying, they don’t get prayed for.
I’m tired because next week is Holy Week, and I won’t feel as if I’m ready for it until it’s over. I’ve been told this is typical for my Meyers-Briggs personality type… and I’ve been told Meyers-Briggs personality types are hooey.
I’m tired because I’m lonely. I’m lonely because I don’t have the time to visit family and friends who sustain me… and when you’re in the ministry you have a lot of people who love you, but so very few friends.
I’m tired because even though there are a lot of people who love me, there are some who don’t. Those people hate me. And they make no bones about it. They let me know with every word and action. Being hated is exhausting… and hurtful.
I’m tired because I’m hurt. Licking wounds takes more effort than one might think.
I’m tired because I’m not allowed to show how hurt I am. Putting on a happy face when the crowds are gathering around with their stones is oh, so tiring.
I’m tired because I write a sermon every week… and no one seems to realize how much work goes into such a thing.
I’m tired because I need to be all things to all people and I frequently fall short of this.
I’m tired because I hate disappointing people, and my human nature causes me to disappoint people a lot.
I’m tired because I never know when I’m going to get another one of those nasty notes telling me how evil I am because I sometimes vote Democrat, or I have an Obama Hope poster in my house, or I watch the wrong news channel…
I’m tired because I can never pick the right hymns.
I’m tired because I want to change the world, and changing the world is a difficult task.
I’m tired because I know that I am a laborer in God’s Kingdom, and laying the foundations of a brand new world on the ramparts of an old, corrupt world is hard.
I’m tired because God tells me one thins, culture tells me another, and the church tells me yet another.
I’m tired because I’m drowning in seminary debt.
I’m tired because I’m never allowed to disconnect… even though most people complain that we are too connected in this digital age.
I’m tired because I’m guilty of not taking a Sabbath and resting as often as I should.
I’m tired because after long days and chaotic hours I frequently get asked the question: “What do you do through the week?”
I’m tired because I can’t visit everyone I need to visit, let alone visit everyone as often as I’m expected to.
It’s coming to an end of these 40 days of fasting in the wilderness, and I’m tired and I’m weary and I don’t know how much longer I can hold out. These are moments when faith means all the world to me. And I guess I can see the point of the wilderness journey–to strip us of the self-delusion that we can do this alone so that we lean more fully on God. But I find myself wondering if I will ever not be tired.
Is this what ministry is? Being tired, all the time?