a failure.

15 Jan
The fear of trying something new is the fear of failure. *nods head* I experienced that today.
I had a funeral yesterday; it wiped me out. I got home around 1:30 and ended up asleep on the couch, slightly accidentally. I still had a Sunday sermon to write and very little energy/creativity with which to do it. It wasn’t my best. At all. But as Kendall would tell me on internship – you can’t hit every one out of the park. True story. I’m living, preaching proof.
In my sleepy state last night, I added a “turn to your neighbor” section of the sermon. I’ve put them in sermons before but when I’m in the pulpit, I always make the split-second decision to leave it out. David Lose, a professor I had in seminary, writes a weekly column on workingpreacher.org about the texts for the week. Lose is huge on the congregation participating in a sermon and I whole-heartedly agree with the reasoning and proposal of it. So I tried it, and even – quite literally – wrote the encouragement to do it in my manuscript.

And so I was brave … and it did fail. Miserably. They kind of just stared at me. They were likely hard questions. I probably didn’t set it up well enough. Or, maybe, the people in the pews didn’t pay much attention and simply didn’t want to play an active role in the ten minutes of the service when they can sit and zone out. Failed. Lesson learned. [That lesson being either chickening-out-is best or try-again-with-clearer-explanation. I’m not sure which.]
It’s okay though because the failure of the morning sermon quickly was forgotten and made way for a perfectly pleasant afternoon and evening. First up – Kendall, Emily and family popped by for a brief visit! It was beyond fun to welcome Dawson friends and show them around the place I call home and church. They were en route to another destination but I was so thankful they made the brief detour.
Next, I drove to Owatonna to meet up with Paige at the movie theater. We took in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Foregoing any book-to-movie comparisons, it was entertaining, although graphic. I liked Daniel Craig’s coat. On the way home, I began a 1.5 hour phone conversation with Joel and Melissa in Montana in which we talked about ministry joy and celebrations, television shows to watch, and the art of ping-pong on dining room tables. It was great to catch up [as always]!
And now I must retire for the evening. Between a funeral yesterday, church this morn, and a two-sermon weekend, I’m exhausted. And think I won’t be working tomorrow, or, for what little work I will do, I will do it in sweat pants from home [with the exception of the evening meeting I have]. I’m in need of a sanity day and, recalling that self-care is not selfish, will take the sanity as best I can.

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