At times over the last few days this thought has come to mind: “If an opportunity came along to preach would I remember how to do it?” It still tries to sneak past the truth that the gifts and call of God are irrevocable. The last time I preached it ended up with me spending 32 hours in bed sleeping, dozing on and off, no use to man nor beast! I am not sure if you know how demanding it is in every way to preach? Some of you will know that because you are preachers, but if you are not, perhaps you don’t know what an exhausting thing it can be, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Take care what you say to a minister on a Sunday. Sunday nights and Monday mornings are days when the devil likes to try and have a field day with pastors’ thoughts! So unless it is an urgent need, leave “I must speak to him/her about this” till Tuesday at least and see if you really must! I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that standing in a pulpit type of preaching is beyond me for the time being. Opportunities still come my way, but I know if I did try and take them up at this moment, it would be because I was moved by fear rather than faith: the fear I might lose the gift, or be judged as having buried my talent….to try and preach would be idiotic for me at the moment. It is not what my Heavenly Father is requiring of me.
Somehow it is difficult for us Scottish folk to completely shed a false picture of God. Perhaps you were told in your formative years, “Use it, or lose it! If you don’t use your talent, you will lose it, God will take it away!” LISTEN, GOD DOES NOT PUT IN THE BOOT WHEN YOU ARE LYING ON THE GROUND, TO ACCUSE YOU OF BURYING YOUR TALENT THERE! Who do you think does that, often using the words of Scripture in the process? There may be times when we need a challenge, but a challenge that calls us to positive faith rather than appealing to some buried sense of guilt or shame or failure or fear.
When I am thinking the wrong thing about God or more often a right thing at the wrong time, one of the life-giving words someone said to me once comes to mind: “God is not an idiot!” He is sane; He is more than humane; He defines Love; He is Wisdom; He is good all the time and all the time He is good; He is not a thug who puts in the boot, or a thief who will steal life from you when you are knocked down and in a weakened state. The phrase might seem shocking but at times our irrational fears, the ridiculous notions that we have about God need to be shocked out of us; GOD IS NOT AN IDIOT!
I hope you are sure about that. You might need to bring one or two thoughts you are thinking to that touchstone today.
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Hello Kenny, Was intrigued to find your blog and surprised to hear of your retirement. I hope that there will be days of strength ahead and of new opportunities. This blog appears to be one; a good way of communicating. I am out in Tanzania at the moment (wisely or foolishly I am not sure!) and I am a temporary Anglican. Moshi is under Kilimanjaro and I look up from the church house to the top of the highest mountain in Africa. It is pretty impressive. I am happy to look up and admire with no thoughts of trying to get up there! Your comments reminded me of a book by Jeff Harkin called “Grace Plus Nothing’; a very encouraging collection of short meditations. I was interested to read of your appreciation of things RC. I have read and really enjoyed almost all Benedict xvi wrote; and there is a marvellous book called ‘The Power of the Cross’ by Raniero Cantalamessa: a collection of sermons preached to the Papal household on Good Fridays.
Anyway, good wishes to you and Morag
It was really good to hear from you! Tanzania sounds interesting to say the least. Thanks for the tips on books etc. Much love to ou. K
Thank you Kenny
Good to get your insights on the blog. Helpful to be reminded ‘God is not an idiot’; so obvious when you think about it but how easy to forget it!