I guess I am opening myself up for a whole bunch of jokes, but there is nothing that makes me as tired as needing to use my brain all day. I have spent the past couple of days trying to get sermons ready for tomorrow. Today I was up at 8:30 to get started. On a Saturday! But I think everything is as ready as I can get it.
When it comes to preaching, at least for me anyway there is always this unplannable God element. I have a job to do. I need to study and prepare and make sure I have all of my notes and stuff. But when it comes down to the actual preaching part I have to leave most of that up to God. I can talk. I can actually talk well, but moving people’s souls and engaging their hearts and minds…that is God’s work. I have learned to stay out of the way as much as possible and let him do it. So I think I have finished what needs to be finished. Now I am praying for God to do the rest. Sometimes God makes his presence known in a powerful way and big things happen. Sometimes I have not sense of God and yet other people are tuned in to him. Still other times it feels like I am fighting the sermon the whole time, and I walk away feeling more tired and dejected.
What I have learned is that all of these times can be God honoring. Somehow God is involved in all of them, even in the times when I don’t feel like He is anywhere near me. I wish there was some formula to how God works. I wish there were a set of hoops to jump through or maybe a specific prayer to chant so that God would make himself “felt” in worship. But there isn’t anything like that. God isn’t our servant. We are His. He moves and speaks when He wants and how He wants. And the cool thing is sometimes He uses even a sinner like me.