Recently I preached a sermon and was completely frustrated with it. We have two services so I got another opportunity, but I hate to feel like I completely missed it. There were things that happened that morning that I could blame, but those things happen on a regular basis and it doesn’t have the same effect. When my wife came into my office between services I said that it was a terrible sermon. I later sent the staff a message of a humorous picture that made me feel better because I was sure that sermon was in the top 10 worst I had ever preached. That was probably not completely true. I preached some pretty bad sermons when I first started out. But when things do not go the way you intend you often think the worst.
My perspective changed a little as the day went along. I was able to process the sermon, the day and the situation. A little perspective goes a long way. I thought I would share a few things that helped me get my mind right and look at the day a little differently. Maybe they will help you when you have a similar situation.
You Have Those Days
The greatest baseball players in the world go hitless from time to time. As a matter of fact, a great baseball player will only get a hit 3 out of 10 times. Similar statistics could be given across most other sports and professions. Every single person has times when they are not at their best and everything does not go exactly right. Don’t beat yourself up. The best in the world have days when they are not performing very well either.
You Are Not Quitting
The fact that you are there doing something is a sign of progress. You are not quitting. We all know the quotes about quitting. There is something to be said for showing up and doing the job. You doing the work is more than many other people are doing today. You have an opportunity and you are attempting to take advantage of it, even if it is not as great as you would like it to be. Don’t let a single bad day cause you to quit and rob you of the good days that you will have. Good days do not last forever, but bad days do not either.
Good Is Still Happening
This is the best perspective-changer I know. In my job as a pastor, I have to trust God to do most of the work anyways. The Apostle Paul would write that he plants and Apollos waters, but it was God who increases things. I received a message from someone later on Sunday afternoon saying that the message was right on time in their life. God was taking my failing efforts and working it in someone’s life exactly as they needed. Even in places where you do not consider it to be overly spiritual while doing your job, good is happening even if you cannot see the effects immediately.
We all have days when we feel like we suck. A little perspective will help you get over it quicker. Don’t get too sad when you fail or too happy when you succeed. If you do, life will feel like a roller coaster. Understand that both things happen in everyone’s life. Neither lasts forever.
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