I've spent the whole of today writing a sermon. I guess that doesn't sound like a bad thing. Only, I've also watered all my plants - twice. Plus I've thought about cleaning my kitchen... Only to actually end up making a cup of tea.
I live under this false allusion that in order to deserve my pay, I ought to work hard. And umm, even better, to be seen to be working hard. But I don't work on display at McDonald's. In my line of work putting in the hours and knuckling down, never guarantees and rarely produces effectiveness.
So, like I said, I've spent the whole day on my sermon. I've read the passage again. I've opened the presentation software, I've produced graphics that are both a result of ideas, and the source of other ideas. I've thought of at least 20 illustrations I'll probably never end up using (half of which I've already forgotten). I've petted the dog, and the other dog. They both think I'm such a good master today. I've wondered if I can prove what I've written to be true. Think perhaps I need to start over... I've used the backspace a lot.
A whole day of this! Well, that and an episode of the sitcom Friends. You see while conducting research on the internet, I somehow found out the lead actress in Greys Anatomy, Ellen Pompeo, had guest starred in an episode during the final season. And well, I think she's very fine... And I didn't remember seeing her in Friends back in the day. So I watched the relevant show, thinking perhaps I'd think better doing my task at hand afterwards.
Don't be too alarmed. Somewhere in all this I remember to pray. This little bit of writing isn't going to end with me suddenly seeing the light, praying, and voila! The sermon just flows from the brain, through the fingers and onto the screen. This is not the first time I've spent all day writing a sermon. I've prayed. And not only do I know God will answer, I believe He already has.
So as I write this, the sermon is outlined and about 2 thirds written. I know the messages theme and take away. Most of the keynote presentation is done. All I have to do now is wait for my car to be washed (I thought perhaps I'd prepare better with a clean car in the driveway - this epiphany came to me while watering the plants for a second time) go home, clean the kitchen, tidy my desk, iron a shirt for tomorrow, go to worship practice and play bass (oh I love the weeks I get to do that), hang out for ages afterwards with the other worship practicers (which is so much fun), come home, feel sleepy, and decide to get up early in the morning to finish it.... Only... At 6:30 in the morning I'll figure 2 thirds done with the keynote presentation just about finished is probably good enough, and opt for another hour in bed.
Then I'll remember I actually skipped the shirt ironing yesterday. Rush out of bed about 8:30, try to slip past the zealous greeters at the door, and just at the right time I'll get up out of my pew in the most humble, dignified way I can, move to the platform and say "good morning church. Will you turn with me in your Bibles to...." Uh oh... Ugh, if only I had spent more time, or started in earnest earlier in the week... Or... wait a minute, I remember! Daniel chapter 11.
(Note to self - pick John 3:16 next time you want the people to know their Bibles and get inspired to live and share for God. Who picked Daniel 11 without a gun to their head? Oh yeah, I did. Probably on a Tuesday. No one would pick Daniel 11 on a Friday!)
Meantime. The message will work. I know it will. Because after all these years I know I don't actually work alone. How else do you account for these stunning flowers in my back yard. What... You thought it was because I'm a good gardener?