Well, I’m not sure I can imagine a worse feeling. It was like that bad dream where you go to school and you didn’t know there was a test that day – yikes! After teaching Sunday morning class, I spent a few minutes greeting people. Then I made our announcements and sat down as the song leader began our worship. I looked in my bible for my sermon outline and…nothing. I looked in my class material…no outline. I looked through my computer bag I had brought in for a presentation that afternoon on our new website…no outline. I dug through every piece of paper I could find around me…no outline. And, of course, all of this is happening during worship as we progressed closer and closer to the sermon. Needless to say, I was probably a distraction to those behind me, and I was certainly distracted from what I should have been doing – praising God.
I eased my tension and hopefully that of the congregation by cracking a few jokes such as: “whoever accidentally picked up my notes, please ignore the ‘cry here’ comments!” Thankfully, it was an expository sermon that progressed fairly easily through scripture in a logical manner, and thankfully I was well prepared. I actually got a few, “you should lose your notes more often” so maybe it turned out to be a blessing. God’s word was preached, and that is really all that matters.
Perhaps I am too tied to my notes occasionally. I use notes because I want to be absolutely certain that my words on Sunday match my research leading up to a lesson. That being said, nevertheless, it was a great reminder to me that we need to be ready, in season and out, ready to present ourselves approved, as workers who correctly handle the truth. Will I be ready with an answer when a question comes from a friend, family member, or stranger? Will I have ready recollection of time spent in study? I pray I will. Will you? If not, what are you doing to prepare for the next opportunity? As for me, I plan on being ready…just in case!