The Webinar is a seminar held on the internet. In the world of the pastor, there are hundreds of them being offered every year on a wide variety of topics. About once a month, I join one of these instructional videos to help me in one area of ministry without ever leaving my office.
Early this year, I decided to view one specifically designed to help pastors with technology in their small Church. It was to mainly focus on websites, social media, podcasts, and a few other random things. I registered. I received an email. I was ready to watch when the time came.
The day and hour arrived, and I clicked on the link provided. My computer opened a viewing page, and nothing was there. I closed the window and went back to the email and tried again. Once more, it led to nothing. I tried four or five times for a few minutes and finally landed on a page that stated, “We are experiencing technical difficulties.” I sat and waited for what seemed like an hour, and I was going to give up when an image popped up. Now, there were people speaking, and I could hear nothing. I tried my speakers, and it didn’t seem to be me. Then suddenly, voices came through my computer, and the words did not match the lips of the people. All this time, there was a message on the bottom of the screen declaring, “We apologize. We are experiencing technical difficulties.”
During this time, the only thing that seemed to be working was a live feed on the right side of the screen. People could type in a question or comment on the material. I watched with delight and horror as the words scrolled down the screen. Twenty minutes into a technology seminar and none of their technology was working made people angry over wasting their time, concerned for the people involved, and a point of humor for those of us less spiritual people.
I think of this event every time I mention the name of Jesus. I want people to know him as their Savior and Lord. I want them to understand the new life I have found and how I am different because of him. I want people to know Jesus. Yet, I continually betray my own cause. Like a webinar on technology that can’t get its technology right is a person who proclaims Jesus but can’t get their life right.
I held on through the twenty minutes of the chaos of the webinar until they got the bugs worked out. I admire them for their willingness to keep working to make it right. Once they had everything fixed, they apologized and tried to make a joke of it before awkwardly moving into their material. The next thirty minutes was good stuff. I took notes, learned new things, and generated good ideas for my ministry. To get the good stuff, I had to look beyond the failures and focus on the possibilities.
My prayer for a Monday is that God will do the same thing with me. That someone will hang on even when I betray my own cause. I want them to listen even when my mouth has betrayed me and said some unchristian things. I want people to hold on through all the junk in my life and try to see the good. Today I ask God to use my life even when I have not seemed to master the material myself. My prayer is that people will look beyond my failures and focus on the possibilities. I ask this for myself and you. Mondays can be full of regrets leftover from the weekend. Just keep plugging away and allow God to work in spite of your flaws.