Friday, January 13, 2012

Principles for preaching- Spend some time with yourself

When we are preaching we are speaking to humans ( I hope!).
In theory then, this should be incredibly easy. I am also a human, we should be able to relate!
Surely in ourselves we have a great resource for understanding each other.
But unfortunately, most of us don't spend time simply with 'ourselves'.
Sure, we spend time alone. With the TV. With some passtime. With a bible.
But I don't think this counts as spending time with ourselves.
Now, I'm not recommending some complicated program of 'finding ourselves', or deep meditation to find something profound.
In fact, the profoundest thing I have found by spending time with myself is that I'm not very profound. Not that I spend that much time with myself now.

When I was a child and teenager however, I had a special rock that I would go to, simply to sit.
It overlooked a vast valley. I played with the smaller rocks on top. I got bored. I got past being bored. I let my mind wander. I learn't all sorts of things at that rock. I learnt that I should thank people who have helped me. I learnt about a friends horrific story. I learnt to sit. I noticed that I am here, now. I thought about stuff. Nothing too profound*. But at least it gave me some time to have an interior reality. Not everything is conversing with others. I exist when I am not being entertained. Apparently teenagers and young uns' these days are lacking an interior life. Go and sit on a rock. You get to notice yourself a bit
Which should help you relate to other 'selfs'. Perhaps even show them their own 'selfs' more than they have ever seen them before. There is a lot of talk that preachers should go and spend time with people if we want to connect. And there is some truth in that. But perhaps there is een more benefit from spending some time with yourself
Preachers, go sit on a rock.

* though also some profound things. On a moonless night, the few lights from the farmhouses in the valley blended with the stars, so that the horizon seemed to drop 100 metres ahead, and gave the feeling you were floating through space on a small ball. Which you are really. Also, after a few years sitting on the rock, I lay down in just the right place and saw that the edge of the rock aligned almost perfectly with the contours of the mountains in the distance. Freaky.

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