I preached well on Sunday. I can tell you this because two different people just came to my office to tell me so. But then again, it’s hard to preach badly when all I’m doing is expanding on Jesus’ words (Sermon on the mount – Luke’s version). Still, it almost didn’t happen. On Monday I went through the scriptures and found my key points and worked out what I wanted to say. Tuesday through Thursday (I have Friday off) I sat in the office in steaming frustration, unable to work out how I wanted to say it. Back on Saturday afternoon to pick up the pieces, and it all fell into place – around about 11.00 p.m. Hallelujah! And I wasn’t leading the worship that morning, so there was time before the service to run through it again. And it came through just fine.
Then on Monday I crashed. And burned.
And this morning I dragged myself back to the office, wondering if I was doing the right thing and whether I was making any difference. And I wished (just quietly, to myself, briefly) that I got a little more feedback than the usual polite murmers at the door. And then I had my two visitors, one after the other, to say in very emphatic terms that the sermon had been very much appreciated. Not people who normally go out of their way to be encouraging just for the sake of it. Two people who normally call an agricultural implement a spade – and one that could do with a good clean while you’re at it. Two people most definitely not in cahoots – with each other anyway. But on this particular morning, God, who knows exactly how much I really don’t deserve it, decided that encouragement was what was called for, and dished up a double-helping. I’m still in recovery mode. I’m still pushing back uphill. But now I know for sure that I’m pushing up the right hill.