I was preaching along minding my own business when it hit me; people were not tracking with me.
Now I realize that I'm not the most engaging preacher in the bunch. But I usually feel like people are tracking with me.
It wasn't because the children were in with us either. They were in for the full service this past week because we use 5th Sundays as an excuse to let our children experience the full worship service. They seemed to be pretty content, actually.
No, it was the adults. It was something in their eyes...
So I stopped. I said something like, "There seems to be something distracting us today." Since I didn't really know what else to say, I prayed. And then I finished my message.
I didn't do it because I was mad or ticked off. Really. No, I thought something was generally wrong and it was affecting the whole room. It was like God lifted a veil and showed me what was really happening before me. It was a little creepy, to be honest.
Later that night, I had a couple come up to me and say, "Darien, we owe you an apology." They continued saying something like, "We weren't listening when you stopped and prayed. Our minds were somewhere else."
Wow. How often do people apologize to the preacher? Not too often in my experience.
I found out today, another person told a friend that when I stopped their mind was somewhere else too.
Now I'm not so naive as to think that doesn't happen in our church every week (no matter who's preaching). And I'm not frustrated with our people. They normally seem very engaged with what's being said.
No, I think this week was different. And I think God stopped me to pray. You know, come to think of it, we specifically prayed for the Holy Spirit to be in charge that day...
Oh, and what was I preaching on...the Lord's prayer.