It is a privilege to preach every Sunday. It is an opportunity that not everyone has. My community has entrusted me to faithfully exegete and interpret the sacred scriptures. It is truly a humbling privilege and responsibility, and it certainly is not one that I take lightly. However, after preaching almost every week for the past seven months, I find that my spring is not gushing forth like it did six months ago. To be sure I am at the beginning of my ministry, so I am certainly not coming to the end of my time (at least I hope not). Nonetheless, I feel like I am pounding my staff against a rock hoping that, as with Moses, water will flow forth.
Preaching is a task which requires much withdrawal from one’s well. Sermon preparation and writing is a form of writing that takes much of oneself, far more than the academic writing which I am accustomed to. Sermons not only have to be composed excellently, they not only have to hold together, a sermon must not only speak to one’s mind, but also one’s heart.
I’ve been struggling the last few weeks to continue bringing rivers of living water to nourish my congregation. A few months ago, my well was a spring which was bursting through the ground, and it did not take much effort to retrieve water. Now, I have installed a pump, and each pump of the handle seems to take up less and less water. A well which ran deep now seems to be a shallow stagnant pond.
There are dry seasons, and there are rainy seasons. During rainy seasons we collect enough water to fill our cisterns so that we can be sustained during the dry seasons. I am not sure when this dry season will end, but I deeply hope that the rainy season comes soon.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), my calling does not depend on my feelings on any particular day. It is my job to continue offering my congregation living water. That is my responsibility which has been given to me. So until a rainstorm comes, I will continue dashing my staff against the rocks to squeeze out every bit of moisture that I can, and pray that my well will be filled soon.