My Monday morning started off a bit different than most. Around 5 AM I woke up to a heavy rain storm. I tried to go back to sleep, but pretty much tossed and turned until the alarm went off. I shuffled downstairs and made the coffee for myself and tea for my wife. I read my morning scriptures and spent a little time in prayer. Then I sat down to the computer screen. Normally on Mondays, I get the scripture for the sermon into the document, do a lot of background studying, and then start to write. My writing process is one of free flow writing – I type everything that comes to mind and then start to sort it out. Sometimes I write a couple of different ideas down until one concept takes over. The left over items might get saved for a future sermon. Ultimately, by the end of Monday, I have the overarching idea of the sermon down and will hone it during the rest of the week in between visits, bible studies, meetings and administrative duties.
But this Monday was different. The ideas did not flow. The concepts never emerged. I wrote some stuff, but could not focus. I’ve hit a wall. It might be due to working almost every day over the past eight weeks. I might be hitting a wall because I just completed a sermon series. It might be lack of sleep. And it might just be a sign that my original plan for the sermon is not God’s plan for the sermon.
Preaching is hard work. Preachers try to help the congregation link the ancient scriptures to today’s lives so transformation may occur. And we never do this alone. We rely heavily on the Holy Spirit so that what we preach is more about God than our literary and oratory skills. And fortunately, the Holy Spirit has never failed me.
So where am I on the sermon? Well after some time of prayer and reflection, I gave up the scripture lesson I first planned and went with another. And while I am not as far on the work as other weeks, knowing that the Holy Spirit is working with me gives me great confidence that all will work out on Sunday. And the Holy Spirit will transform me in the process.
And that is why God is so great – He never abandons us, He always supports us, and will carry us when we have hit the wall. May God bless you abundantly this week.