I am burstrated. That may not be a word that is familiar to you, but I know it well. As a pastor I am often burstrated. I find it hard to express how I feel, or how I am dealing with some situations so I create words to help me describe what I feel. Usually I just keep the words to myself, but I thought it was necessary to share one of my words with you as I attempt to give a word picture of the heart of a pastor.
Burstrated is the combination of the words burdened and frustrated.
I often feel burstrated. It happens when I am overwhelmed with a burden for the situation someone is facing but I am also frustrated. The frustration might be because I can nothing to fix things. I like to fix things, not objects, my wife wishes I liked to fix objects, but I like to fix things in relationships and in personal situations. The problem is that I cannot always fix things and it makes me burstrated. Sometimes the frustration side of feeling burstrated comes from knowing that this is the umpteenth time that the person has something to contribute to the problem. When that is true I have a lot of other emotions as well and I want to scream but I usually just settle for muttering to myself. This does not diminish my burden for the person or the situation, in fact it likely increases my burden for them.
The heart of pastor is never neutral when someone in his sphere is in a bad situation a pastor’s heart breaks. When people are hurting, even if they have contributed to the pain a pastor’s heart breaks. Frustration is sometimes mixed in, but it doesn’t change the fact that the pastor’s heart hurts along with you and for you.
The heart of a pastor rejoices when those in their sphere of influence choose to follow Christ and when those people are blessed the pastor’s heart nearly bursts with joy.
The heart of a pastor is heavy with concern and fear when people around them are beginning down a path that will likely cause them pain. This is also when the feelings of being burstrated rise up. As the pastor is burdened for the person and choices being made and frustrated because it seems that there is nothing they can do at the moment.
As I pray for the services tomorrow, I am burstrated. My heart is breaking for some people in very difficult situations. My mind is battling frustration over some people who confess a desire to follow Christ but keep making excuses instead of changes. My heart is breaking over seeing so many people nod in agreement to the message of a song or the sermon and then walk from the building live in opposition to that with which they were just agreeing. I am frustrated at my failure to say the right words or to show them by my example that there is a better way.
The heart of a pastor is never neutral and it is very likely that your pastor is wrestling with the burstration today.
Just some food for thought on this Saturday.