I just saw a sign riding down a Columbia street in front of a United Methodist Church. It said: “Sermon Waiting For God.” There wasn’t a colon between “Sermon” and “Waiting,” and I found it either an intriguing title or an accidental conundrum. I hope every sermon that I preach or any preacher preaches, for that matter, is “Waiting for God.”
It’s a fact that I have preached more than a few where I didn’t wait on God long enough and should have gone into the pulpit Quaker-style and waited for a Word from the Lord. But, oh no, I have usually thrown something together in my own strength or perceived ability, and then I wonder why God didn’t show up. I didn’t wait long enough.
The rhythms of life are all about waiting, pausing, taking a deep breath. As I write this, however, I know that sometime today I am going to get a phone call that was set up yesterday and is extremely important. Here’s the deal. It was MUCH more important yesterday when it was set up. Part of me was very anxious, a bit angry, more than a little bit hurt, and flumoxed a lot. Here’s the deal 15 hours later: Big deal, whup, whup!
If I trust the Lord who is as perennial as the tide and as solid as a mountain range, then what’s up with worrying and freaking out? Two sayings come to mind that I must choose between: “Don’t let worry kill you, let the Church help!” and “Worry is like being in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere!” So let the church kill me, or be still. Two choices. I hope that I make the right one when the phone call comes.