Last week as I got up very early Sunday morning, after having struggled writing my sermon the day before, I realized I had not spent much time in prayer in preparation for that sermon. So I said a short prayer, apologizing and asking for God's assistance in making sure that I was saying what needed to be said, and then went off to practice my delivery. I ended up making a few more changes to my sermon than I normally do, including adding in an illustration that I wanted to use but couldn't see to fit in.
As I almost always do, before the service at my first church (I serve two churches), I said another prayer asking for God to be present and to speak through me. At this church we do a hymn sing before worship begins from a much older hymn book, and so I asked what songs they wanted to sing today. Someone yelled out a number, and I opened up my hymnal right to that hymn. After that song was over I asked for another, and there was, as usual, a long pause and I thought to myself we should sing "He Lives," and sure enough that was the next hymn requested.Then during the offering, the pianist played "I'll Fly Away" which was the favorite hymn of a parishoner at my other church who had died that week.
It was one of those moments when you could feel the movement of the Spirit, even if no one else even knew it was going on. I have let myself get very tired and burned out lately, but at the same time have not had the time or space to catch back up. I have also felt distant from God during this time. I know my work was being impacted by this and I was not taking the time to do what needed to be done, like praying to God for assistance with my sermon, let alone other things.
This was God saying "Hey, I'm here, always remember that, and make sure to ask, remember to pray, remember to read scripture, remember that there are other things more important going on in your life." And so I thank God for the movement of the Spirit and for this little reminder.