The church I pastor at meets in our junior high school. We have no control of the building, chairs, podiums, heating or cooling, or anything else. Just a key and then deal with what you get.
This is usually fine, but this last Sunday was near the end of a string of hot and humid days. I was hoping, since school started the previous week, that the air conditioning would be on.
It was not. It was hot. I walked in and my heart dropped. I hate hot, which is why I live in Northern Wisconsin. I hate humid hot the mostest.
I was sweating before I even got up front to speak. As I finished the announcements and went into my opening prayer, I made a joke about there being no air conditioning and then I said, “It’s hot in here. So, let’s get this over with.” Then I launched into my prayer.
It was an off-hand comment. I did not think about it, it just came out. “Let’s get this over with” is a statement I tell myself when I have to do something that I know will be uncomfortable. It was in relation to being hot and sweaty while preaching. I knew I would be miserable.
But the comment probably wasn’t the best thing to say right before beginning a church service. It is highly doubtful that this sets the right mood for worship!
I felt bad right after I said it, but then I prayed and on we went. It bothered me later that afternoon and is still bugging me.
I remember once getting ready to hear someone teach a Bible lesson and their opening line was, “Here’s what I came up with to bore you with tonight.” I heard another person say, “Lectures are boring. I hate lectures. But oh well, this is what we do. Here’s my lecture for you.”
Those kinds of statements are spoken more out of insecurity. I understand. I get it. There is a self-consciousness involved with such statements. Kind of like my dread of preaching in a hot humid airless room.
Our words come out quicker than we can think sometimes, especially when we’re nervous or preoccupied. One poorly spoken word can destroy. One of the downfalls of being the “guy who speaks,” is that I have to speak.
I don’t have the best track record of saying the right thing. Sometimes I wonder why I have this job. At least with writing I can edit! Even there though, things slip through. People take things wrong or I say them wrong.
It happens. We need grace. I need your grace. I hope to extend my own. I’m working on both sides of that issue. Sorry I say dumb things some times. Thanks for your patience.