Posts Tagged ‘pastoring’

You would think that living your life day in and day out in the church that feeling like you have missed Christmas would be impossible.  This however, is exactly where I find myself right now.  For the majority of the church going folk in the world, the advent season is a great celebration leading to the big crecendo of it all on Christmas day.  Everything builds on everything else and it would be impossible for Christmas to just sneak up on you like it is just any other day of the year.  My problem however is that I live on a different calendar than the rest of the members of our church.

I work ahead.  As I write this I have spent my afternoon preparing for my sermon on January 23 – that is five Sundays from now.  I prepared my advent series well over a month ago already, and in many ways already feel like Christmas has come and gone.  When I am in the midst of preparing a message it is all I think about and I live in the midst of it.  I would like to think that I can get myself fully back into that place in my mind when I finally present the message, but the truth is I have spend all week preparing to preach on something else and it is only a small part of my week going over what I have previously prepared to preach on that coming Sunday.  For me in many ways I lived Christmas sometime back in November and it is already a memory to me now.  Just one more example how being a pastor makes life distinguishably weird from the rest of those folks out there.

If you see me in the next week or two wish me a Happy Valentine’s Day and I will likely be right with you.

Somedays life is complicated.  Somedays I would love to be able to flip open my laptop and dump everything that I’ve gone through here for the world to wallow in with me.  Somedays, I can.  Somedays, I’m pretty sure about the only thing that will keep me from bursting is to exploded upon these digital pages.  It’s not always a thing of editorial beauty, but often it’s very weakness is it’s own beauty.  The ability to be vulnerable if even in a guarded digital sense.  But . . .

. . . Unfortunately this same medium is also the one that I can’t make full use of either.  The things that consume my thoughts the most, that keep me awake at night, that I stew over and pour myself into like tap into a perforated water bottle; it’s these things that I can never share.  The one place to give a glimmer into my life for those on the outside and the one place to seek the potential counsel of the other, is the one place I cannot share about the things I most deeply want to share about for those exact reasons.

Pastoring is a often a funny and fickle business.  Being looked to for constant advice and being sought out to solve problems while you rarely have the opportunity to seek the same ministering graces.  Without being able to share any details or even give a generic outline of the place I find myself in, I have to carry the burden of my work alone in many ways.  Without sounding dismissive; I know that I have a God I can rely on who knows my burdens better than I know my own, but it would often be nice to be able to drop the iron curtain I have to carry around my actual thoughts and to retire the seven second delay which sensors the vast majority of words and thoughts I can share with the public and just be totally open and honest with the people around me regarding why I sometimes seem preoccupied and distant.  It’s not because I lack a heart, but because mine is so overwhelmed with the breaking hearts of others.

The blogging life expresses I think both the agony and ecstasy of the life of the pastor – finally a medium with which to share your life and thoughts with the world and your congregation, and a medium in which you still have very little real freedom to actually do so.  I might sound a little depressed, but honestly, if I weren’t feeling a little agonized right now I think there may truly be a case for saying I don’t have a heart. ;-]

P.S. – Thanks to Jon for the Bon Iver music recommendation.  It got me through the night and I managed to listen to it right through as I typed.  Beautiful, haunting, stuff.