This is the first post in a series on frustration. View them all here.
If anyone has even halfway known me for any amount of time, they would know that I struggle with frustration. I want everything and I want it yesterday. This surfaces much in my ministry life, as it often feels like hard work to feel content. I know others who deal with the same thing, especially church planters. I believe it’s a combination of the personality of one attracted to church planting and the slow nature of the work. Frustration is even in the description people use of the young, restless and reformed movement (if you want to call it that). Restless. Anxious. Unsettled. These are all versions of frustration.
But surely all frustration isn’t bad. Jesus Himself wasn’t always happy with the way things ought to be and got heated when talking about it. I know sometimes my own frustration comes from a good place, but (more often than not) it manifests itself in wrong ways: being angry at God or others, getting snippy with my wife, not being my normal happy self.
So where is frustration right and where does it go off the tracks? Where is frustration another word for an adult balling their fists and stomping their feet? And where is frustration another word for expressing that this world isn’t the way it should be?
In this next series of posts, I’ll be diving into these questions. This idea mostly started by me wanting to understand myself better and where I need to grow. Maybe this will also be helpful for others who are in my boat with me. So if you know frustration is a part of your life and sometimes it controls you, this series is for you.
Here’s where we’ll be going:
First, we’ll start with why we should be frustrated. I believe the roots of frustration are good, so let’s see where it starts. Then, we’ll talk about frustration that is merely outward: what might be fashionable or popular. Everybody likes to protest something, right? After that we’ll look at frustration that is merely inward, our own version of childish foot stomping. We’ll end the series by seeking out what holy longing should look like in our lives, a Godward frustration, and how that serves us and others well.
I hope it’s helpful and doesn’t add to your own frustration.