I guess I don’t “think” my age, if you know what I mean. You don’t know what I mean” Well then, let me explain:
I have been Christian for 48 years. I was called to ministry on the day I was converted. I am in my 60’s and have been a minister or assistant in some capacity for 40 years plus. I am called to speak at gatherings in Scotland and beyond from time to time even still despite getting on a bit. I am even asked to speak to other leaders on a semi regular basis. Fellow ministers seem to want to know what I think about situations they are facing: I love that especially; it fits well with my limited capacity health wise these days. However, personally I still feel like Jeremiah felt and have his type of conversation with the Lord:
“Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.’ But the LORD said to me,
‘Do not say, ‘” am only a youth”;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the LORD.’ ”
I so deeply feel I am but a youth, a child, a boy. After all these years of relationship with the Lord, all the thousands of sermons and thousands of hours pastoring, I can’t seem to think of myself as all grown up, though sometimes I pretend I am. My preaching never goes well when I act all grown up in the pulpit or the conference stage, or as I pastor folk. Thankfully, I don’t do the all grown up act, the expert act, very often. It seems very unnatural to me. When I slip into those clothes, well, I am in a very bad place indeed with myself and the Lord.
There is a deep rest actually in knowing God is the Father and I am the child who just needs to listen and pass something on. When I do that, I feel I am living in a pre-womb-formed purpose. One day I will grow up and know as I am fully known, but it is not yet…
By the way, my sermons go in the bin after they are preached. Some I preach for a season for I know they are the Word of the Lord for more than one setting, but even they get discarded as what I am hearing seems to move on, ever the same and ever new, that strange mix of the Word and the Spirit dancing together to a score on which they agree, but which they alone know fully. That is why thus far I have never written a book because what is important to me now, tends to give way to something else that seems more life filled, which in turn gives way etc. etc..
Maybe it is time to get rid of your barrel of “best talks” and start listening again? Be a child with an instructed ear and an instructed tongue? That is how Jesus seemed to go about things. According to Isaiah 50 morning by morning He was wakened to listen for the word that would sustain the weary which He would then speak, sometimes going out of His way geographically to find the individual the word He had heard was for. It seems He felt and knew He could do nothing, say nothing on His own: Jesus the child; the Son… in time and on earth what He is always in eternity; the Son. Always, eternally, The Son.