How to be deeper, more thoughtful and clearer

We were sitting across from each other at one of those tiny tables that only the trendiest coffee shops can get away with

MASSIEL DAVILA

IN GOOD FAITH

We were sitting across from each other at one of those tiny tables that only the trendiest coffee shops can get away with, in Hope, B.C. It was Tuesday night, the night before the changing of the guard. Between the two of us 11 sermons would be preached through the course of a week at our annual church camp. She was the senior pastor of a large university church, I an associate pastor who had been invited back to the province where I began ministry nine years ago. That night she was preaching her last sermon and I would pick it up the next day. Pastor Chris mentioned she’d looked up some of my sermons online, a notion that was both exhilarating and terrifying. Exhilarating because it was someone besides my mom watching and terrifying because I knew the next words that were going to come out of my mouth before I could stop them, “Really? I’d love your feedback, I crave constructive criticism.” She smiled, a knowing smile of an experienced pastor. “Are you sure you want to do this now? You’ve got a lot coming up.” “Yes,” I responded naively. “Now’s the best time!”

She was honest with me. The last time someone had been that honest was my professor before she handed me my final grade in homiletics. She asked if I wrote a manuscript, I shuffled around the question and realized that I hadn’t in a while, notes and research can add up to pages and pages, but it does not a manuscript make. “Go back to the basics,” she said and gave me more good stuff, hard truths and then left me with absolute gold. “Now you’re at a place where you need to go deeper, still deeper. Thoughtful, more thoughtful. Clearer still clearer.”

Boom. Just like that. In nine words. How to be a better preacher, and a better person.

“Deeper, still deeper. Thoughtful, more thoughtful. Clearer, still clearer.”

Deeper in our relationships with one another. Deeper into the work we do, being better every day. Deeper and deeper in to new things we can learn about life and God.

Thoughtful about our place in the world, towards one another and how best we can use our lives. Thoughtful about our faith and example.

Clearer about our feelings, speaking truth and being real. About who we are, and what we mean, in kindness, but in honesty. More clearly showing we care.

We can to go back to some of the basics that we’ve lost our way from. In preaching, the basics seems so limiting, so conforming, like it gives you no room for creativity and spontaneity. The basics seem dull. Don’t they? Living with just the basics seems stringent.

We imagine bare walls and monochromatic clothes. We imagine no indulgences or fun times. Instead we try and cram as much as possible, more content into our lives. More content though, seldom means more quality. If in a sermon I try to say everything, I end up saying nothing. In our lives, as we attempt to do everything, could it be that we end up doing nothing? Least of all living with the intentionality that our lives deserve.

What would it mean for you to go back to the basics? Going back to something that you’ve lost your way from? Something so simple it seems silly, but it might be what brings you back from the urgency of doing too much. Basic doesn’t have to be a hindrance; it can be the thing that sets you free. Free to live better. To live deeper. To live more thoughtfully. To live clearly.

Massiel Davila is the pastor of Nurture for the College Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Alberta male team takes gold in Winter Games relay speed skating

Alberta was close behind Quebec in the team relay speed skating finals

Lacombe Police Service respond to car theft at Greenway Inn

Suspect is still outstanding and the investigation is ongoing

Lacombe Police Service responds to attempted car theft

Two suspects departed scene in a silver 2000 Dodge Caravan

Alberta was crowned champions in Wheelchair Basketball at Canada Winter Games

Ontario won silver while Quebec took home the bronze medal

Lacombe welcomes ‘Napalm Girl’ to discuss journey from hatred to forgiveness

Latest Herr Lecture to feature Kim Phuc Phan Thi at LMC

WATCH: Canada Games Torch Relay lights spark in Lacombe

100s brave blistering cold to support local torchbearers

WATCH: Pet therapy brings calmness to Winter Games athletes

Canada Winter Games in Red Deer continue on until March 2nd

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Child advocacy centre raising funds through Dream Home Lottery

The child advocacy centre in Red Deer uses its resources to help kids all over Central Alberta

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Most Read