That Friday feeling
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about post sermon blues and my own struggles in this area. But the truth is that my preaching crises are not limited to after the sermon. And for me, Friday’s are the days that bite. That’s partly because I used – as a regular joe-pastor – to have Saturday off. Friday was the last full working day on my sermon(s). I would often wake early on Friday worrying things around in my head like a dog worries a bone.
I was saved from this particular Friday feeling by listening to a sermon from the US by CJ Mahaney where he confessed his own struggles with Saturday night feelings (I was much ahead feeling this way on a Friday!). This is the same feeling that makes a preacher go over and over his sermon on Saturday night (and Sunday morning), never satisfied with it.
I found, purely by experience, that a sermon reworked on a Sunday morning was virtually never improved. Indeed, quite the opposite. Thoughts that had been clearly gathered and arranged over the course of several days cannot – generally speaking – suffer the rearrangement half hour that Sunday tinkering brings.
But the issue goes deeper. For my Friday crises (and Saturday and Sunday crises) reveal a lack of confidence in the Spirit of God to do the work of God. If I have prayerfully and carefully prepared, I need to be able to place my sermon before the Lord and commit it to him. He will do what he will do. Sometimes (and you may think this is stupid, but it helped) I would even physically lay out my manuscript on the desk a bit like Hezekiah. I am the workman, nothing more. I do my work. I plant. I water. Sure, but God gives the growth and this truth and this truth alone saved me from the Friday feeling.