Getting a Grip on Time – notes and audio links (as well as some thoughts about the irony of my week)

The irony of this post is that it is a link to a sermon on time I will preach tomorrow (1/18/2009) that is made necessary because I ran out of time. So here are the notes that I did not have TIME to print for everyone this week. On the week of my life in which I was to preach a sermon on time I had a collision with truth, that you have little to no control over time. The collision with truth was called seminary. I spent six days this week in New Orleans taking a New Testament class. Usually when I go to New Orleans I rent a single hotel room that I escape to post lecture and accomplish great things for the glory of God. Those things would include sermon preparation, sermon planning, and digesting the remains of some really tasty blackened something that I ingested previously in the evening. I had the week all planned out – and so did Dr. Gerald Stevens.

Little did I know that this would be one of the most intense research weeks of my life. Each day we were given a topic to research as a team. The following day we were to present the material in a creative format A.K.A. skit. Thus, my days were filled with research, creative planning and note compiling which usually ended sometime after midnight. On that note I would like to extend a major league thank you to Doug and Kendra, my library compadres this week, you guys were true New Testament nerds (I mean that in a good way)!

Having a type A- personality means I like to do what I need to do when I need it done. My eldest daughter has unfortunately inherited two of my greatest character traits: 1) the ability to freak out and 2) like me, she is a control freak. We are freaks. During the times when she really begins to exhibit her A- characteristics I like to “take control” by teaching her a lesson on “control.” In the middle her spells I will politely ask her to go outside and “warm up the air” when it is cold or to “remove the clouds” when it is cloudy. This usually goes nowhere but I feel wise nevertheless. She hates it. That’s why I do it. I digress.

So this week I couldn’t do what I thought needed to be done = sermon planning. Dr. Gerald Stevens thought I needed to invest every waking moment in New Testament studies. Isn’t it odd that a New Testament professor would enjoy immersing his students head first into New Testament? As a result of the projects I had a busy week. On Monday I was Simon Maccabee. Tuesday I was a first century Palestinian father. On Wednesday I was a rapper in an infomercial. On Thursday I was a host in a game of Clue. On Friday I was a premillennialist in an AA group trying to get over the fear of being “left behind.” On top of my new acting career I also came away with a wealth of notes on various New Testament topics.

Now I will attempt to make my point. My type A- personality not only studied the New Testament this week, but also vented some frustration at the fact that the church side of me was being neglected. I had no time for my sermon on “time.” On Thursday night walking back to the library God gave me a moment that I hope will greatly shape tomorrow’s sermon. Basically I realized the blessing of interruptions. God does an amazing amount of work in our lives through interruption. My sermon is now finished. God was not concerned about it. The irony of preaching is that sometimes sermons come together outside of libraries instead of in them. This week God wanted me to immerse myself into some incredible New Testament studies. I failed to agree with His schedule and so He basically trashed my plans. As frustrating, tiring, and intense as the process was, I learned an absurd amount in only five days. God’s schedule for me was New Testament. If I had realized that much earlier in the week the whole thing would have probably been an even more beneficial experience. Looking back on it I am deeply grateful to have been a part of such a valuable learning process.

God invented day and night. He has every right to take them back; when He does so we have no choice but to come along.

Audio (when posted this link will work properly)

Powerpoint file


Mark Buchanan. The Rest of God, Restoring Your Soul by Restoring the Sabbath

Larry Osborne. Contrarian’s Guide to Knowing God, Spirituality for the Rest of Us


Popular Posts