Preparing For Something Great

Some of you who know me, know that I LOVE to fish.  When I’m out on the water, I find a sense of renewal and revelation.  Before a trip, I always make sure to do as much research as I can.  I also make sure all my rods are setup properly and my boat and trailer are safe and in working order.  I charge the batteries for my trolling motor and fish finder.  I make a checklist of all the things I need to bring with me.  I pack a cooler with food and drinks…

You get the picture.

I take quite a bit of time and energy to prepare…ensuring that my trip is as good as it can possibly be.  And each time I go on a trip, it takes less time and energy to prepare because it becomes a discipline.

Now take a second to think of the things you’re most passionate about and how you prepare to do them.  We tend to put our energy and time where we are passionate.

And yet, I find myself attending church completely unprepared.  I’m obviously prepared when I lead worship or have a significant role in a service.  But when I’m just attending, I show up.  Now, I’m not saying that just showing up isn’t ok.  There are times and seasons when just showing up is what we can do.  But our lives aren’t lived primarily in those seasons.

When I’m leading, I usually take some intentional time on Saturday evening, or in the shower on Sunday morning, and engage in a time of self-reflection.  Some weeks it involves thinking through all the ways, that I have realized, I didn’t live up to the standard that I know Christ is calling me to.  Other weeks my thoughts are centered on all the things that I am so thankful for.  My wife.  My home.  My redemption through Jesus.  My health.  The list could go on for quite some time.  And sometimes I simply pray that Christ would use me in whatever way he sees fit.  That prayer is pretty consistent.

So I want you to make a commitment to start preparing for our times together.  That might be more than once a week for some of you.  It’s kind of awkward at first.  Self-reflection and prayer can be that way.  Eventually it becomes a discipline.  That discipline not only draws you closer to Jesus, but it also encourages others at Westbrook.  I think that God uses these times of self-reflection and prayer to renew our passion.

Passion is contagious.