A few years ago one of my favorite authors, one that I have read so much I consider him a distant mentor, published a new book that I was very eager to purchase and read. I paid around $27 for the book and began devouring it. I wasn’t disappointed. I not only learned from his writing I was also more firmly grounded in my faith and personal identity.
You can imagine my shock about six months later when I saw 5 new copies of this book in a second hand book store for $6 each! I remember thinking, “How much work and how much of his life was poured into that book and now it is on a bargain table?” I was reminded that every achievement, trophy, prize, award, or accomplishment is short lived.
That memory flew back to me today. I’m in the midst of moving my office a few blocks away to a new location. It’s been years since I’ve done a serious purge of my stuff. As I looked into one container there lay over 25 years of cassette tapes of sermons I’ve preached. People often ask, “How long does it take to prepare a message?” For years I spent 8-12 hours per week for each message. In recent years it’s been closer to 20 hours per week. It’s much more challenging to speak today than 20 years ago but that’s a different post.
So…..yes, I threw away every one of those cassettes. A lot of my life was in those messages but they are mostly long forgotten by those who heard. Honestly, most of my messages are forgotten within 48 hours but that’s a different post.
It’s humbling; but God is good. I’m so privileged to get to spend a significant portion of my life praying and studying and writing and then speaking. For those readers that have heard me speak often, thank you for sharing in a mystical and powerful exchange as we gather around God’s Word weekly in worship.