To be a minister is to know the most searing grief and abandonment, daily and profoundly. To be a minister is to take as partners in solemn covenant those who are sure to renege. To be a minister is to commit, unavoidably, energy and passion, self and soul, to a people, to a vision of who they are born to be, to their readiness to share and live in to that vision. To be a minister is to make that all-out prodigal commitment to a people who cannot possibly sustain it… The minister is called by their need, by their fundamental inability to be who they are born to be, hence by their fundamental inability to share and live into that vision in which the minister invests all. To be a minister, then, as God knows, is to be forsaken regularly and utterly, by those on whose partnership one most relies for identity, meaning and selfhood.
James Dittes, a pastoral theologian, quoted in Willimon’s Pastor.
If you are a pastor, then this excerpt needs no commentary. And if you are not, then remember your pastor and pray for him or her. It’s a tough road.