Becoming What We Are Meant to Be

Odd as this will sound, what I am about to tell you is true. I once fell asleep during my own sermon! It might be hard to believe (unless you have heard me speak), but this really happened. Read on, lest you think I am spinning you.

No one knew that I had fallen asleep at such a time until I told people about it, and then it seemed totally in character. While speaking, I noticed that the audience was generally losing interest in my remarks, and several had eyelids that seemed unusually heavy. Some time before our church had begun recording sermons, giving the speaker a copy for purposes of self-evaluation. I listened to myself a few days later, and ten minutes into it I discovered that my sermon was a great cure for insomnia, for I had drifted off to the same clouds that my audience had visited several days before.

So I can honestly say that I fell asleep during my own sermon. And a valuable learning experience it was, for by the process of self-evaluation, I was able to hear what other people were hearing, notice my faults, and make some changes.

Naturally, there is a bigger lesson here, and I thought of this:

“Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it-he will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:23-25 NIV)

Sometimes we need to take a long, critical look at ourselves and give ourselves some honest evaluation. Paul tells us to examine ourselves “to see whether you are in the faith” (II Corinthians 13:5). All that is good advice, but sometimes we get so used to seeing ourselves a certain way that we can see nothing else. I still think of myself as a strapping, athletic young man with a full head of dark hair, and believe it or not I still see myself that way when I look in the mirror. But recently someone took a candid picture of me from a side view, and let’s just say that I looked, as the saying goes, like a piece of furniture. My chest is now in my drawers, and my forehead has a marble top.

I’m forever thankful that no one follows me with a camera to record my every move, which is one of the advantages of not being famous, but it is good every now and then to get a glimpse of how we really are. Looking into the perfect law of liberty or comparing myself to Jesus to see how I measure up can discourage me, but it motivates me to do better. More than that, in the weakness of my humanity I have come to understand the need to rely upon that same Savior to help me be what God intends me to be.

Lenny Cacchio

Excerpted from The Sabbath Morning Companion, April 6,2007, by Lenny Cacchio. 
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