In doing the early study for a Sunday message, I often encounter eureka moments.
It could be something I read in a commentary. It could be something I scrawl on my notepad as I'm brainstorming around the passage or the subject. Or it could even be something that crosses my mind as I'm mowing the lawn with an unfinished sermon sitting on my dining room table.
But then it comes: "That's it! I've got it! That's the one thing I want to say and how I want to say it!"
The sensation is palpable. I can feel the adrenaline flow and the excitement build. From that moment on, the rest of the preparation is (relatively) easy.
Just last week, I was working on a message that I'll deliver in November. And in my research, I realized that a message that started out being about money ended up being about God. And of all people, John Piper -- that notorious but brilliant Calvinist -- inspired the insight.
So what happens if in the course of preparing a message no eureka moment comes?
Just yell louder hoping that an increase in volume will compensate for a lack of clarity? Ask someone else on the staff to preach that day? Give up? None of the above.
Because those are the times I have to trust that God will take my feeble offering of words and create his own eureka moments in the ears of those who hear.