Venison Chestnut Stew + A Prayer
It seemed reasonable, the night before the talk was due to be given, to stew up some venison and roasted chestnuts (some of which exploded, almost blinding me) and a bottle of Hardy’s Merlot mix for the housemates. One of them was poorly again and looked like she needed some nutrition, especially some iron, in her diet.
After feeding the equivalent of 7 people, settled down to write the talk as the clock struck midnight. With the help of a plate of Keen’s Cheddar, Montgomery Mature Cheddar, Paxton & Whitfield malted crackers (all happily obtained on discount), worked steadily till 6am (when the solitary room bulb blew). Grabbed 2 hours of shut-eye and then rushed across town just in time to give the talk.
Feedback was enormously positive. At first, I was too zombified to do anything but grunt and nod at people thanking me – after all, these were just polite Christian Brits being overly effusive like it was a divine command. But later, when it became embarrassingly obvious that they actually meant it because several groups had been huddled about discussing what they’d learned and when even people from the Placement Church heard from the grapevine and came to congratulate me, managed to pull myself together to vehemently urge that thanks be given to God.
Through the long night, I had been truly sorry for my not taking God’s word seriously enough to ensure that I spent enough time preparing to edify his people and had been praying very hard that my culpable lack of preparation would not be a discouragement to others. And what d’ya know, the very passage I was to speak on gave me confidence that God would honour this plea, because it was surely God’s will that his people be edified regardless of incompetent speaker:
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him (1 John 5:13-15)
Now to pray that in the event I actually prep long and hard for the next talk and it is well-received, I remember that I neither wrote God’s words (the Bible), nor did I understand it of my own accord, nor was it my gift of gab that caused his words to shine into the darkness; it would all be God’s work. And I would be an extremely privileged front row observer of him working.