When I selected John 4 (The Woman at the Well) for a first-person sermon to preach at Circle of Mercy last year, I realized it refers to water. Whether it is a river, lake, ocean or a pool, it doesn’t matter to me. I love everything about water. Perhaps this is why I enjoy swimming so much.
I was able to preach this sermon at Grace Covenant Presbyterian on August 5 and it was so much fun! The picture at left is the one printed in that Sunday’s bulletin. I edited the sermon some from when I preached it before but I so loved preaching it. I know that a sermon is not a performance but it did remind me how much my spirit misses performing on my violin and viola. When I used to perform, a part of myself would soar. I often felt as if my spirit touched God’s Spirit somehow and I could express all my feelings without the bother of using the right words.
Sometimes when I preach, I experience this feeling again. That’s what happened on Aug. 5. I so love this feeling! It used to take me forever to write a sermon and I was in the process of looking for another call where I would be able to write more sermons when my accident happened. I figured I would learn a system and it wouldn’t take me so long. My accident certainly put a stop to that!
One of my neuropsychologists pretty soon after my accident told me that with all my cognitive challenges, writing a sermon would be too difficult. While it is difficult I am still able to do it. If I could only stop worrying about them so much! I used to worry all the time about things but I had the cognitive energy to handle these emotions. Now worrying affects my ability to focus and it wears me out.
I’ve tried to limit my responsibilities because I cannot handle as much now but I have found I get bored. My latest thought is to try to add some responsibilities but still find a balance in my life. I understand this will be a challenge and perhaps it won’t work but I at least have to try. When I lived in Atlanta, I erred on the side of trying to do too much.
One thing I want to try is singing in the choir at Grace Covenant Presbyterian. The choir director there is an excellent musician and it may be a way I can use the creative part of myself. Of course this presents another challenge. Since I don’t drive at night, how will I get to rehearsals? I figured I would have to catch a 5:30 PM bus for a 7 PM rehearsal. This seems like a bit of a stretch but perhaps I’ll try it and see how it goes.
At the risk of proof texting, it helps me to keep verses in my mind. I’m sort of picky about language though and I figure since I’m only using them personally, I can use a combination of various translations. The verse I’m trying to focus on now is a combination of the NRSV and the Inclusive Bible from Proverbs 3:6 &7: “Trust God with all your heart, and don’t rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge God in everything you do, and God will direct your paths.”
I definitely need God to direct my paths. I do believe God has given me living water on this journey just as God gave it to the Samaritan woman. Allowing God to direct my path is not easy but I have found my life is so much richer when I do this.