Forgetting What I Remember

I have posted before on the process of preaching without notes.

While I wouldn’t do it any other way, it does have its pitfalls.

This past Sunday, for example, I knew that I was forgetting something late in the sermon. Because I remember things based on where they are on a page, I could see in my mind’s eye a whole chunk of one of the later “pages” of the sermon, but I couldn’t remember what went on that page.

So I snuck a peek at my manuscript before the third service. “That’s it! That’s what I’m forgetting!” It was an old story involving Henry Clay Morrison (instrumental in the founding of Asbury Seminary) and the fact that this world is not our home.

But I was so intent on remembering to include that particular anecdote — which I did — that I then forgot a very funny line & photo about me attending a Miley Cyrus concert and the Dalai Lama attending an NRA Convention.

So in all my “rush to remember,” I remembered something that helped the sermon a little and then forgot something that at the first two services had helped it a lot.

Oh well.

Preaching without notes is still worth it.

Because if I’m open to it, it is teaching me that whatever gets remembered — or even forgotten — has more to do with God’s hand than my mind.