Actually I was way out there beyond just a slow learner… I may have to create a word to describe how far beyond slow I am in the learning department. Let’s see… how about “slowability“… the ability to be slower than any other human being to finally “get it”…. and even when I would finally get it, I would always discover there was so much more yet to get!
It took me 2 years to get it (that God was not going to send in hundreds of people to listen to Phil’s great and wonderful sermons).. at 52 sermons a year that was 104 – 20 minute sermons… (please note that I always had preached for an hour or more) so I needed to get it all in very quickly. My poor wife suffered thru each sermon (right along with those 8 – 10 – 12 other people), but then… she had to also suffer thru the 30 minute ride to get there and then 30 more minutes to get back home. At that point, we had stopped being open on Sundays at the restaurant. 🙂
The onliest times that there were more people in that little Congregational Church, were at Christmas and Easter, when everyone goes to Church. Egads… the church is God’s people, not some place people go to… not a building… not an organization… just people… people who follow the Lord. I even preached the 20 steps to following the Lord (one each Sunday for 20 weeks) and they still didn’t get it!… the best thing to come of that whole series was that I didn’t title the series “the 20 steps to perfectly following the Lord”… 🙂
It still took me years and years and years to finally understand that I cannot talk or preach to convince or persuade anyone intellectually to follow the Lord… or to straighten up and fly right according to Phil… or how they should live…. or what they should do…. or who they should marry… or anything else…
I can only tell my stories. This was one of those stories.
It had a fitting ending that my wife loved… she laughed all the way home that day of my final sermon. They had an incinerator toilet in the basement of the Church. When I finished my sermon there was this loud bang in the basement. The incinerator toilet had exploded… stuff was everywhere. Hmmmmm… what do you think the Lord was trying to convey to me?