I have just finished writing a sermon for Sunday. In the end it flowed reasonably well (I think) but it was hard work in the making, and the majority of yesterday's early draft was ditched.
I am not entirely sure whether there is a relationship (causal or otherwise) between time constraints and difficulty getting sermons to coalesce, or if it just feels that way, but certainly not sitting down to start work until yesterday left me feeling pressured and with little time to mull over or listen for the prompting of God.
Way back when, someone told me I wouldn't be able to produce a sermon every week - the greater part of fifteen years has proved him wrong, but sometimes only by the skin of my teeth (well by Friday night anyway!).
No-one ever tells you about sermon block when you are training, or about the times when you lead worship from a place of fatigue, exhaustion, frustration or confusion. Somehow we preacher types collude with the myth that sermons arrive well crafted, engaging and relevant, and so we feel bad when they need to be wrestled into submission or extracted from an unyielding stone. I can still say, hand on heart, I have never resorted to "desperate preacher" and very rarely read other sermons online, but sometimes the void between my ears feels enormous - the size of the universe probably. At the very back of my mind if the fear that one day I will fail to deliver, that one day I will have to resort to a small group discussion... but should that day come, I am sure that somehow God will make it meaningful, and maybe teach me something along the way.
I still need to write prayers for Sunday, still have to attend to the All Age bit, but I do feel I have a bit of control now on where it's all headed!!