As I prepare for tomorrow’s sermon, I Believe in Yesterday in our Advent Series of Let It Be… Christmas: A Story told by Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, George and Ringo… there are always some fears and worries that go through my mind before the day I preach.
I mean, sure, I’m always concerned about the message itself: did I pray enough? Did I prepare enough? Is this gonna work? Will I do a good job? Do I trust in God enough?
But. I think about other things far more often, on the day before the sermon, as I make my final preparations.
What if my zipper is down while I’m preaching, and no one comes up to stop me, and then the whole sermon I’m preaching with a odd draft?
Or what if someone does point it out? How will they do it? Will they just walk up and whisper in my ear? Will my wife notice and try to get my attention? But then, I probably won’t get what she’s motioning at or mouthing… How do I play it off? I mean, I’m sure everyone notice it by now. Do I turn around and zip it up? Or do I just zip up while facing everyone? Will I be able to go on? What shade of red can “yellow” skin really turn?
What if I accidentally uttered one of those you-never-can-say-these-words-at-church words on accident? Or because I was so caught up in the moment?
What if I have to use the bathroom real, real, real, real, real bad, and I just said my opening sentence?
What if I had to use the bathroom before the sermon time, but I’m not done before it’s time to preach and people are wondering where the preacher is?
What if I completely eat it while in a serious moment? I trip over my own feet.. or a stray cable…
Granted, none of these haven’t happened (knock on wood!!!!!!!!!).
However, there was something that did happen before I preached.
It was within my first 3 months at Aiea Korean United Methodist Church. It was time in worship for the sermon. I got up, walked to the preaching area, and raised the music stand. As I raised the music stand, there was an enormous sharp pain in my back. And I couldn’t move.
I said, “Hold on. Give me a moment. I can’t move.”
And one of the kids in the back shouted “He’s faking!!!!!”
I assured him that I was not faking. That’s when one of the adults came and got me a chair, and slowly lowered me in to the chair.
He later told me that even as he was helping me into the chair, he thought it was part of the sermon, until he saw the size of the beads of sweat dropping from my head.
One of the volunteers brought her car as close to the building as possible. A few adults and a few youth escorted me, gingerly, out of the chapel and into the car, all the while, everyone is staring at me, not knowing what to do or how to react.
They rushed me to the ER.
I spent all Sunday morning in the ER. The best part of the day? When they gave me morphine. 😀
I can still hear the kid’s voice shout “He’s faking!”
I can scratch off the fear of being rushed to the ER right before I preach.
I’m kind of curious what happened after I left. I never asked…
Well. Here’s praying that tomorrow goes with the flow of God’s Spirit, and that flow doesn’t involve any of my (irrational) fears.
…. Although, I’ve come to learn that God often has a wicked sense of humor at times…