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Know Jack #432 Living for the Moment

I wrote last time about my retirement stealing, plan frustrating, worst enemy. He’s still around lurking in some corner ready to pounce. Before he went into hiding, he opened the door to a much stronger foe. This one doesn’t really bother with disguise and camouflage. He’s confident in the weapons at his disposal.


The battle began with a phone call that I was not totally surprised to receive. It was a surprise that I answered it at all. It came from a name and number that I did not recognize. Those usually go unanswered. This one did not. Before hanging up, I had agreed to preach at my church on Sunday. That is not a bad thing by any means. On the contrary, it is an honor just to be asked and a privilege to have the opportunity to do. It’s not a duty to be performed; it’s a desire to experience.


I understand that my accepting such a request has consequences that make the first week of boot camp seem like a picnic in the park. Murphy’s Law immediately kicked in with a vengeance. Completing the simplest of tasks became complex exercises in frustration. My existing physical problems were exacerbated—my back hurt, my knee buckled unexpectedly. It’s not really a physical problem, at least I don’t think so. Phones and computers hate me every day, but it got worse this week.


This diabolical attack is the opening gambit in a bigger game called self-doubt. What better way to get a person to feel worthless than to have everything go wrong? Like a Greg Maddox sinker, I can know it’s coming and still strike out. I don’t doubt the work of the Spirit when the time comes or doubt about being delivered out of my distresses. I doubt my worthiness to do the job at all.


It's fine to say we all have our faults, but I’ve been around long enough to know that doesn’t apply to preachers in the same way it does everyone else. All Christians encounter this prejudice to some degree, but it’s magnified when one presumes to stand in the pulpit on Sunday morning. I don’t mind it a great deal because I know that no one is as hard on me as I am on myself.


I anticipate beating myself up until about 11:15 tomorrow. About that time, something I can’t explain, something inexplicable, will happen.


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