There are days I am not sure if I should sell shoes or if I should preach. I have always preached—at least for 33 years—and one would think I would have the basic principle of timing for a public speaker learned by now, but I apparently don’t.
Today I preached on heaven. This lofty subject deals with our future, our hereafter, our promises and eternity. My words were filled with hope. The preaching schedule at my church requires me to preach four times on a Saturday night/Sunday morning if I am at the Humble location. Saturday night I preached and felt the leading of the Spirit and revelation. I came to church Sunday with anticipation.
When I walked to the pulpit in first service I sensed a deep flow of God’s Spirit, and I worked my way through the text with tears, revelation and a sense of destiny. It was quite sobering and holy. Hope filled the room. My mind was set forward with great anticipation to think of what would come from the second and third services.
The worship was good, the crowds were full at both services, and the scheduled baptism service in third service went perfectly as seventeen people were buried with Christ in baptism. But somewhere after first service I lost any vestige or suggestion of timing, I obliterated the English language, and I did poorly in my execution of my subject. From my view, the hope that could have been transmitted was limited. In short, I bombed.
My purpose in writing this blog is to encourage the pastors who faithfully read these pages because we all have these times of less-than-stellar performance. They are painful, pride-killing episodes of magnanimous proportions to us—but usually aren’t seen that way by everyone else. What makes me cringe the most is what was lost, i.e., the opportunities for some folks of entering into a deeper walk with God that may have been maligned by my haggard performance. Thankfully God cannot be put off His mission and track by poor public speaking on the part of His servants.
What am I going to do? Well, since they don’t have an opening for Assistant Manager at Kinney’s Shoes, I will get up and go on. Be encouraged.