So, the last couple of Sunday’s I have ad-libbed the sermons. It’s not that I didn’t prepare for them, but it was that when I re-read the bible passages during worship service, I felt that I didn’t want to use the prepared sermon. Which is kind of a bummer.
Don’t get me wrong, I know I did the right thing to suddenly change the message I had intended as part of all the preparations. But what is a harsh reality is that all that time that I had put in the prior week to research, study, and write the sermon feels like it has gone to waste. If you don’t know already, I probably average about 20 hours average in preparing a sermon and worship. So, when I do not use what I have prepared so hard at, I feel like I wasted 20 hours. What can I do about that?
Things happen in a quick flash. During the service and when I read the scripture passage, I realized something else. So, I needed to change my plan and go with an unprepared plan. Now, I am not very comfortable with public speaking, that is probably the reason why you may see me sweat a ton when I am at the pulpit at church! That is the reason why I write down everything, word for word. Also, by writing things word for word for the worship service, I can keep track on time, practicing the entirety of worship service in my home and make sure that everything is within a certain time limit in worship.
When I don’t use my prepared liturgy, I run the risk in saying the wrong thing, maybe an unintended thing! Or possibly I may ramble, and worship would be much longer than expected! It’s never a good idea to “wing it.” But I also must realize that plans change, and sometimes plans change at the spur of the moment.
But maybe that’s ok! Maybe I didn’t waste 20 hours of my week. Maybe I don’t always have to depend on my word for word transcript for worship. Sometimes, I can’t prevent the events of change or prevent when my heart decides to go in a different direction than what my brain had planned.
I guess this can happen a lot in life. We make carefully thought-out plans, only to realize the last minute, or day of, that those well-thought-out plans must change. Instead of feeling stressed out, or feel incompetent, or pitiful, find confidence in God. Maybe your heart changed, or an occurrence has happened to force change because God needs this to happen. And that God is using you as His agent to do something better that what was originally intended.
Also, we should never think that we wasted our time when a time consuming well thought out plan that we prepared will never be used. I do believe that the time we spent on planning helps us prepare for anything that happens that we were not prepared for. Roll with the punches, dig down deep, and embrace the moment. That is what God is giving you… the moment.
Hey this is Rev. Brian Choi's random thought throughout my week. Most of this stuff, will probably be about family, church, fishing, music, movies, food, whatever I think of, hopefully it will have some sort of theological reflection (maybe).