If you have ever prepared to preach you know exactly what I’m about to write.
This past Sunday evening I arrived at the church at an admittedly late time of 530 for our 600 evening service. I still had to print my notes on the color printer (I usually bring about 30 ½ sheets of fully manuscripted work to the pulpit so highlighting and variant fonts are pivotal).
So when I got to the church I noticed that the whole administrative area complete with printers is disconnected as our computer guy was doing some work and installing some new hardware/software.
This did not leave me much time. I quickly evaluated the risk of driving home and printing off my notes vs. the risk of preaching without notes. In evaluating the two, the prospect of getting in an accident or getting a flat tire seemed less likely and far less damaging then me trying preach without notes.
So after advising our drummer of my intentions with the comforting and vague instructions, “Dude, tell the guys to just improvise..” (I later found out that they were going to keep singing “Just as I am” until I walked the aisle…)
So off I went cruising home, retracing my steps back to my house. I printed off my notes at home, in black and white 8^(
I got back at 615 (about 10 minutes till go time). Terry (our usher leader) spotted me and quickly supplied the mic, while advising me that I had “plenty of time”. According to Terry “plenty of time” apparently is a song and an offertory song…or about 5 minutes. I quickly numbered and cut my notes and was ready to go.
Typically when I preach I have a little binder with my pages arranged in two’s; this enables me to scan both pages as I go. In this case I was preaching from a half sheet of notes, in retrospect it felt like looking through only one eye…weird.
So I walked into the auditorium just before the offertory song, thanking God for his grace and the circumstances that caused me to have my heartbeat and dependence increase. My wife looked at me and patted my back to find a drenched husband. I was red and sweating more than Paige Patterson at happy hour. It was hot out and I just couldn’t stop the perspiration.
Anyway, God’s grace prevails and he reminds me of my weakness and his grace, how it is magnified in boneheads such as me. Suffice it to say, I’ll be reviewing my notes on the way to the building next time. God is good.