I was ready to walk out of church, not because I wanted to make a scene or hated the message, but because I really needed to pee. Fifteen minutes into the preacher’s message and my urinary bladder was ready to explode. I was unfortunately seated right smack at the middle of the congregation making it look too obvious to the hundreds around me if I make the exit.
My SOS was because I made the mistake of drinking almost a liter’s worth of coconut juice before the church service. I didn’t know that the Philippine’s most famous liquid export (no evidence of this by the way) is as competitive as Gatorade when it comes to flowing into your body. I had a sensation reminiscent of what you feel when hope is deferred: painful and ready to fold.
The preacher’s manner of delivering his sermon didn’t alleviate my agony. The speaker, though intelligent, was bland. He seems to possess a lucrative anointing to cure insomnia. And though the topic was great and the content substantial, the manner the biblical lesson was presented gives you a picture of eternity – infinite, unfathomable, a gigantic open space leading to the unknown. Listening to him taught me patience and endurance in a scale that none of his spoken words could. But after experiencing all this boredom, the charisma-deficient pastor reminded me of something about God’s Word that my Mom would always tell my siblings and I when we were kids.
She told us that when in church, regardless of who’s preaching, and whether we like him or not, if he’s declaring the Word of God, we have to listen. She says that we ought to give reverence to God’s Word when it’s being taught. Besides, it’s the power of His Word where we draw life and direction from and not the personality (or absence of it) of whoever is teaching.
The guy I was listening to maybe leading me and probably most of the congregation to sleep, but God’s word is nonetheless, living and active (see Heb. 4:12). The Book of John in the Bible even says that the “Word was God” (see John 1:1) and the sometimes scary chapters of the Prophet Jeremiah would declare that God’s Word is like fire and a hammer that breaks rock into pieces (see Jer. 23:29).
Though the service may have been difficult to endure, err stay awake, I still took home a lesson that night. In many ways, everything he was saying makes sense and if I’d apply it in my life, it’ll be for my betterment as a person and follower of Christ.
Like steamed vegetables, good spiritual food maybe served not in a manner you’ll find appetizing. The divinely inspired preaching that night is filled with thoughts intended to strengthen my faith, except that it’s as delightful to partake as a bunch of raw veggies.
NOTE: The exclusive use of the pronoun his and him was for simplicity.