Sunday was weird. The theme for the day was Luke 2:52. I had a great plan to share a message on the importance of parenting. The worship presentation was ready, the worship team was prepared, and I had a great illustration for the message. Then the computer crashed. BLUE SCREEN It wouldn’t restart. The clock continued to tick. BLUE SCREEN It was time for the service to begin. We were scrambling. BLUE SCREEN There were no lyrics. We had a bulletin outline, but the service parts were all incorporated into the presentation slides. This was a catastrophe! We needed the computer to start. This is when someone inevitably supplies that hopeful phrase, "Don't hold your breath." But it was too late I WAS TURNING BLUE.
Aaaaah!!! What do we do? Well, that is an excellent question. Answer: We do what we do ---without technology.
That’s easier said than done. I was a wreck. Aaaaah!!! I had prepared everything around the technology. I was dependent on the presentation (No slides). I was dependent on my plan (In the tank). I was dependent on the music (No lyrics). I was dependent on the wrong thing. We don’t worship for the presentation. We don’t worship for the music. We don’t worship based on a theme planned by the pastor. We worship God. We come to meet Him as He promises to meet us in His Word and Sacraments.
I led the congregation through a time of confession and absolution. At the announcement of God's absolution, I noticed that the screen had changed from BLUE to a projection of the ministry logo. Yay! The IT guy had resolved the problem. Thanks Matt. I introduced a new song and let the worship team take over. The congregation stood. The words appeared on the screen. But they didn’t change. I looked back at the A/V table and noticed that there was no one advancing the slides. Aaaaah!!! I went back to lend a hand. I turned on a second monitor and the presentation went haywire. Aaaaah!!! Not again!!!
“What did you do?” The IT guy whispered.
“I don’t know”, I responded.
“Don’t touch it. Get out of here” came a louder whisper.
I left. I have now been banned from the A/V table. Lesson learned.
What’s the lesson? Here it is. Are you ready? First, the Lord's table and the A/V table are not the same thing.
Second, let go of this….(Whatever you are dependent on that's not God) Rather, hold onto God. Forget the urgent. Go with the important. What seems urgent, is not always what’s important. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. But sometimes the squeaky wheel is just a distraction. If I would have stuck with the squeaky wheel of the urgent, we would have missed the important gift from God of His forgiveness, life, and salvation. I would have been stuck with Aaaaah!!! instead of Ahhhh! Those gifts are not dependent on technology.
If this can happen in church, where our focus is on God and all things Godly, how much more does this happen in our everyday life? We skip reading our daily devotions. We bypass the prayer at mealtime. We neglect the reading of God’s Word. We fail to discuss God’s plan and purpose in our daily living. All because something else distracts us and takes precedence.
Let me pose a hypothetical. What if you were to grease all the squeaky wheels in the world, would we still need mechanics? Would we finally have world peace? Would you be free of worry, stress, and anxiety? If we removed all the urgent things from our calendars, would we have more time? If we had more time, would we have less urgency?
If we fail to let the important have precedence over the urgent, we will always be chasing our tails.
Take some time today to consider the difference between what is urgent and what is important. Then instead of putting the urgent at the top of your todo list, move the important back to its proper place in your list of priorities.
One more thing. God never gets second place. If He does not occupy the top place on your list, the tail is still tickling your nose. Stop chasing your tail. Let go of this… Hold onto God.