Earlier this year I missed my first sermon ever after I woke up and was ill early Sunday morning. It was hard to not be in worship on Sunday morning, but there was no way I would have been able to make it through without making myself even more sick. One missed Sunday isn’t bad in nearly eight years of pastoring.
I almost missed week two this past Sunday. Thursday night I began feeling “not right,” and I woke up Friday morning at 4 AM feeling absolutely horrible and completely unable to get back to sleep. Not knowing what else to do, I got up and finished my sermon – then I slept the rest of Friday (just a side-note, if you are taking nyquil during the day because it all you have in the house, be sure to eat food first). Saturday I was feeling significantly better and went down to the Phillies game so I could be with my daughter when she ran the bases after the game. That was a big mistake – I left the game in the fourth inning and by the time evening rolled around I was completely out of it.
Sunday morning wasn’t much better. My head was floating and I had no voice at all – but I felt I needed to be in worship so off I went. I couldn’t believe how much I actually remembered of my sermon (I guess the image list I have through Salling Clicker comes in even handier than I thought).
What makes this experience nice isn’t the fact that I’m still sick (tomorrow, I’m sleeping), it’s how most folks in worship actually had empathy for me. I tried to be as energetic as I could, but which how I was feeling there was just no way (and I kept flubbing up the prayer time) – and so folks just went along with it. This was nice, as was the request that the congregation pray for me because I was obviously feeling under the weather. After worship one of my favorite people looked at me affectionately and said, “That was a good job in what I know had to be terrible circumstances.”
So, I felt miserable – and yet encouraged.