I am not sure whether punctuation is credible in posts or not, but I stuck two punctuation notes in there just for kicks. Yesterday I finished up my four-week sermon series. In some ways it is a relief because I get to take a couple of weeks off and not be required to give the message at our church. However great the relief, it is also saddening.
You see, when I first started this, I thought, it would be forever. It was literally like staring down this goal that was just always out of reach. I felt overwhelmed and often asked myself if I really knew what I was doing. I was sure that something would come up and I would have to have someone else deliver one of the sermons because I would not have time to properly prepare or would be exhausted halfway through and ready to throw in the towel. However, I survived and I learned some important things throughout the process. I believe that these can be applied to life in general and not just those responsible for sermons.
The first thing I learned is that it is easier to be a small contributing part of an idea and not the lead developer. To develop the idea is more difficult than just picking a random passage and formulating some points out of it. It is also easier to just be a part of the series and have to fill in one week. In that scenario you are not responsible for guiding the whole but rather just filler that takes up a week. I have been in both situations and filling a week is easier than laying out a map with a specific destination in mind.
Secondly, I learned that everyone is going to have an off day. There are times that you will fail miserably and wonder why you even bothered and still someone will still come up and thank you for the bit of information you offered them. It is a humbling experience to know that God can still work through days that you were out of sync. The most important thing is to recognize when you suffered the set-back and pick it up and vow to do better the next time. Lessons learned from negative experiences usually stay with us longer and expose our needs deeper.
Finally, I learned that you have to be willing to take some risks. Gambling usually is not in a Christian’s vocabulary, but often times, that is what happens. This past week our pastor has been extremely busy tending to his wife who has been in the hospital. Rather than declaring that the message was more than enough for me to handle and we would have to postpone the church picnic, I decided to stay the course. Arranging all the necessary details was anything but easy, but the pay off was enormous. Could the service and the picnic have failed thus causing the day to be a flop? Absolutely, but I would not have known if I did not try. Sometimes you have to push through to experience results.
I feel like we broke new ground yesterday and are on the brink of something large. I am even more in awe that God would use someone like me to carry out His purposes on earth. Will I fail my church? Absolutely. Will I learn from my mistakes? I hope so. Will God use me to accomplish great things? I pray so.