Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Monday, October 7, 2013

I'm Of Three Minds

So I was asked to do the Sermon a bit ago. I hate doing that kind of thing. On the other hand I know what it's like to ask people to help out and listen to one after another say “no.” So I said yes. But I hate speaking in front of people. My ego can't handle it.  

So I am saying my thing when over there on the left and near the back, I notice Tracy. But that's not possible. Tracy is in Brazil on a missions trip. And I'm thinking about how Tracy can't be in two places at the same time when I realize that my mouth is still talking. At the exact same time that I'm solving how Tracy can be in Brazil and in the second from last row near the north exit, I'm still giving the sermon.

This is bad. I've got to get control of my mind. I'm not even sure what my mouth has been saying. So I force my head to turn somewhere else, and there is Greg working at his teeth with a toothpick. He's going at it like he's his own dental hygienist. I mean, his toothpick is digging and scratching and cleaning and cleaning. His head is bent way back -

Yikes! I'm still talking. How can that be? How can a brain be saying what needs to be said AND notice that someone is picking his teeth AND think about thinking about how the brain can do that?

It can't be possible.
I must be screwing up.
I'm making a fool of myself.

Look at your notes!

That's when I notice Dave. He is leaning so far to the right, well, to his left, it looks like Dave is about to capsize. And I'm still talking.

I'm starting to feel genuine panic.

I've GOT to stop.
I've GOT to concentrate.

So I force myself to not look at anyone. I gaze at the ceiling. I focus at a spot where the wall meets the ceiling at the far end of the hall. And that's when I see the camera. Huh. I always thought the camera was a lot closer to the front.

And I'm still talking when this all starts to strike me as humorous. I almost laugh out loud at the the absurdity of what's taking place. This all resembles some sort of dream.

I'm trying hard to concentrate on the sermon while also thinking that by not looking at anyone, and instead looking at the ceiling, I must resemble Steven as he's being stoned to death and heaven has been opened before him and he sees Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

I contemplate spreading my arms wide and saying, "Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit." 

Bad plan. 
Don't do it.
They might laugh. I like to make people laugh
No, don't do it.

I lower my eyes only to notice that Mr. and Mrs. Benson are smiling. Crap. Have I said something stupid? No, they're nodding. They're agreeing with what I've said.

I'm exhausted.
My legs are weak.
I've never stood this long – for maybe ever.
I need some water.
Cold water.

Hey! I'm on the last paragraph. Somehow I've made it through a 40-45 minute talk. And I go to sit down. I shake my head at the mess I must have made of things. With head bowed and elbows resting on my knees, I resemble a man praying against impossible odds. I make a promise to myself that I'll never again say “yes” to doing anything like this. A couple people come up and tell me that they really like my “message.” Are they joking? Are they serious? I can't tell.

A few days later, I listen to the sermon on the Church's website. I have the text of my sermon in front of me while I listen to the audio and it's practically word for word bang on. Kind of monotone perhaps, but hey, I've never pretended that I'm a public speaker.

That's not the point. The point is -

A person really can do public speaking while not just thinking about something else, analyzing something else, solving another problem. A person can do public speaking while thinking about how it's possible to think about something else.

How in the world can a brain do something like that?

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