Long years back I was sitting in a church service listening to a young preacher. It was the worst sermon I had heard in my life. I was sitting near the front of the church as I normally like to do and I kept wishing that I wasn’t near the front so that I could get up and leave. It was that bad.
As I sat and listened and fidgeted in my mind and judged in my spirit, the Lord said to me, “Cyndy, if I was to ask you to preach a sermon and you knew it would be this bad, would you do it?”
BOOM! Ahhh, yes indeed! We may all be called to obedience that has no guarantee of success!
I realized and saw this clearly at the time and it did indeed change me. The Lord’s query humbled me that day and I grew in awareness that life is about following the Lord and that this is not synonymous with ‘everything will go right and well’. Some times we will muck up badly.
My last biggest muck-up was last Sunday. Just two days ago I was privileged to preach a message at the church where I attend. It went very badly. I was all over the map in terms of content and I wonder how many were wishing they could just leave!
I won’t take our time or energy trying to examine or rehash what went wrong with my message, but I do want to take note of our humanity, our God, the things before us, the failures and the successes of our lives.
My own life, I note, has had much failure. Much failure. The list seems really, really long to me. It is an unaccountable lengthy list, at least to my mind. And then, right alongside it, just as unaccountable, is this list of everything I’ve done right and well.
Now, others may want to flatter me that the list of what I’ve done right has been longer than the list of what I’ve failed at, but I truly am not sure of that. I actually think they are par for par.
There is a cute quote going around the internet that says, “If you want to succeed get on with failing, for failing is the one thing that leads to success.” I think I paraphrased that badly but you get the gist.
The point is, the most common denominator in those who wildly succeed is that they have failed many times in grand fashion. This is my only comfort in the wake of a terrible sermon on Sunday. Thank you God for one more failure (tongue firmly planted in cheek).
Of course, as it dawned on me how badly it had gone I was mortified and embarrassed (and so glad I had not told people to come hear me).
The most interesting thing to me, as I stand back and watch as though a fly on the wall, is how much fun I was having giving that really bad message. I was thoroughly enjoying myself. This is such a strange and hilarious and piteously sad thing.
And I wonder how much we do this generally through life. I mean, how much of our days and years are spent doing something, working at something, going through life in a particular way, that may in fact be a complete botch-up?!
Quite frankly, this kinda freaks me out. My brain will pull all sorts of denial tricks on me, I’ve seen it do it. And I’ve been alongside others who are happily in great denial about seriously bad stuff. It is our fractured reality.
Yet, one thing is solid and sure to me since Sunday just two days ago. I have the deep peace of the Lord that I obeyed and did as I was to do.
As I look back on my life it is this same thing that is constant all along the way. I’ve always lived my failures authentically and honestly before the Lord.
I’m just so glad that I can do this, seriously, and that God is the type of God that welcomes and celebrates us for things far deeper than our successes and our failures. And that, is my big conclusion.
Thanks Lord. You are a sweet-heart.
Thank you Dear Cyndy. Blessed by you. Profoundly impacted by the vulnerable way you live out your teachable moments before the Lord. Ah. Obedience. At whatever cost.
Praying rest. Peace. His nurturing presence over you on Mayne as you paint, or not!!
With love, Lorna
Sent from my iPhone
AS I sat quietly reading your blog on the Sunday Sermon-a couple of light bulbs flicked on-
I know I am over sensitive but a few comments troubled me-
The biggest error to me is you quoting you were glad you had not invited your friends to come & hear you speak- to me that is so wrong- the congregation came to receive a heartwarming sermon, your Mom so proudly mentioned you were the Guest Speaker, Sherry & I attended and with your parents Sherry & I sat in the congregation awaiting your message that came thru you from our Savior . I feel whether friend or foe, it felt like you had just pulled this sermon from a long lost file , like you mentioned you had done this sermon many times overseas- How does that make one feel- for myself- I was taken back- are we not ready for the Cyndy many of us know- Yes, I have made many errors thru my life time but have become a strong er & better person for all the learning curves- Like you know the last few months have been a blow but now know two doors were closed for me to move on- do I quit doing my best- NO-
I thought do I chat with you or remain quiet-Pondered- but had to chat one on one as a friend and a Christian doing ones best here at home or around the world- we are not here to impress just certain ones- we are here to act on whatever falls our way.
You may feel I have truly said too much but I feel I am as worthy as the friend sitting next to me waiting to hear your message
Blessings- Your friend
Sent from my iPad
I am always ready to hear what you have to say Jo-Ann! Thank you and yes you are right indeed. I’m glad to be corrected in my thinking. I’m glad you spoke up. xo
Good morning Cyndy, Interesting that I come across this on this rainy morning….. This week has been a very thinking mode for me as to what is my plan ….. no correction not my plans but my Father God’s plan ……..I know in my head He has tried to reach me on a more serving to him that I have been willing or fearful to listen to…. saying to myself ” I could not possibly be good enough to do what keeps coming up in my mind at any given time day or night”….of what you are asking me. but this invitation to come participate in the coming to Mayne Island in January 2016 at this very timely time might just be Father God”s way to nudge me to ” go see just to see” ( He knows my love for Mayne Island)
Cyndy …when something is on my mind that much and constant I know it comes from him …I love the way he uses you for his glory and I love the way he makes it possible for you to go places I am sure at some time in the far past you thought yourself impossible …… you obeyed and he provided for it to happen. I will keep in prayers for clear thinking .
blessings to you Cyndy…….thank you for you in this world ……