Each week I write a column for the local newspaper, which is published on Wednesday. Here’s what folks in the neighborhood will be reading this coming Wednesday:
I really shouldn’t be writing this column. Well, let me clarify that. I really shouldn’t be writing this column right now. Let me explain.
I write a lot of stuff. There’s this column; there’s five or six little pieces that get published on the web each week; there’s the occasional book; and then, of course, there’s the sermon each week. I make no claim that any of these writings are any good; but I can feel comfortable in saying I write a lot of things. Now, with this need to write a lot of things comes a need to prioritize. So, I first write those things that have a definite deadline. For instance, looking at the coming week, I write what is due the earliest part of the week first and that due on the last day of the week last. So, this column being due on Monday before its publication on Wednesday, and my sermon needing to be finished before church on Sunday, and it now being Friday, and my sermon for Sunday not having been started, one can see why I should not be writing this column right now.
But I am. The reason I am is I have tried to write the sermon. I’ve read the scripture for this coming Sunday. I’ve studied it. I’ve read commentaries on the verses. I’ve read about a dozen other sermons on the same scripture. And after all that effort, not a single original idea for an approach for the sermon came to me. I re-read the scripture. I read additional commentaries. I read even more sermons. It was no use. I called my best friend who’s a pastor in Augusta. I asked him if he was preaching on the same scripture. He said he was. I asked him about his sermon. He told me. Oh my goodness, pray for his congregation.
As a consequence, here I am writing this column because I just gave up on the sermon. They call it writer’s block. That’s what I hope it is. I’m not ready to entertain the idea that my inability to come up with Sunday’s sermon is directly related to my advancing age. My thought was I shouldn’t waste any more time. If the sermon won’t come, maybe the time would be better spent writing the column which is due right after the sermon.
Okay, I’ve bored you enough with how I got to the point where I’m writing this column now, even though I should be writing my sermon. Let me get started on the column.
Ah…. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to come up with an original, creative, idea for this column week after week, fifty-two weeks per year? You don’t? Well, let me tell you. Coming up with a new, creative, idea every week for this column is almost as difficult as coming up with a new, creative, idea every week for the Sunday sermon. And now I’m realizing I have no idea what I should write about for this column, either.
Give me a moment here. This is distressing. This cannot be happening. This is beyond comprehension. Maybe I should call the American Medical Association to see if they want to study me. It should make an interesting study because suddenly, without any apparent warning or prior condition, something weird has happened to me.I’m a freak. I’m a walking contradiction. I’m a preacher without any words.