On Sunday, there I was leading worship at Quarry Kirk. My service all prepared, printed out and sitting in front of me in the usual format (16 point arial, double line space, A5 in little foldery thingy). But I just had this niggle that the sermon I had prepared wasn't right somehow. Maybe not right at all, but not right for that time or place. The niggle had started at just before the beginning of the service, but it kept picking away at me as we headed closer and closer to the sermon.
And the niggle seemed to get worse as the lesson was read.
So, as we sang the hymn between reading and sermon. In fact, even as I climbed the stairs into the pulpit I was realising I was going to have to preach the sermon I needed to preach, not the one which was in front of me. Once again, the fighter pilot's prayer was made!
I looked at the congregation and they at me. I took a sip of water (as is my habit) and began. It was frightening and liberating at the same time. But I'm glad I took the nettle in both hands and trusted God to guide me to say what he needed me to say on Sunday.
Is it something I'll do again? Possibly, but I'd rather not make it a regular occurrence. Too stressful and I'm still left with a feeling of wondering if I left it hanging or had a point. With no notes, I don't have something to go back to.