Filler

January 23, 2013

Excerpt from Psalm 19

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."

Quinn G. Caldwell

I start every Sunday morning sermon that I preach with these words from Psalm 19; I'm sure you've heard other preachers do the same. 

Of course it's a classic way to start, but that's not why I do it.  The real, secret reason I always pray this prayer is this: I have a terror of the blank page.  I hate sitting down to start a sermon and seeing that little blinking cursor on that big blank page; freaks me right out.  The anxiety used to drive me to waste hours surfing the Web or playing solitaire on the computer while I searched for a way to start writing.

Then I discovered that if I just sit down and type those words first thing, I feel significantly better.  I haven't really written any of the sermon at that point, but it turns out that a mostly-blank page is way less scary than a blank one.  I think of it as a sort of holy filler, a trick to calm me down enough to write.

Which is really not a bad way to think of it:  Don't know what to do?  Ask God for help.  Got no words of your own?  Use the Psalmist's; that's what they're for.  Paralyzed by the situation and don't know how to start?  Pray.  It is, I promise, a way better way to get started than surfing the Web.

Prayer

God, grant that my every endeavor, the ones I know how to start and the ones I don't, might begin with you.  Amen.

About the Author
Quinn G. Caldwell is Pastor and Teacher at Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC, in Syracuse, New York, and co-editor, with Curtis J. Preston, of the Unofficial Handbook of the United Church of Christ, published by The Pilgrim Press.

Order Spring Cleaning: 2013 Lent Devotionals - new from the Stillspeaking Writers' Group and other favorite UCC writers. Lent starts Feb. 13.

SECTION MENU
CONTACT INFO

Ms. Christina Villa
Director of Publishing
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3856
villac@ucc.org