It’s time for some time out of town

By Curtis K. Shelburne: CNJ columnist

With any luck, within an hour after I get this column written and e-mailed to the newspapers, I’ll be headed out of town for a few days. It’s time, in more ways than one.

It’s the time of year again when my three brothers and I all try to pack up and head off for a few days at our maternal grandparents’ old homeplace at Robert Lee, Texas.

But it’s time in other ways, too, I think. Case in point: last Sunday and the deep feeling of loss that seemed to permeate my life during worship.

First of all, I lost my sermon. I don’t mean that it slipped my mind; I mean that my mind slipped, and I lost it. My sermon, I mean.

I usually sing with our praise team. Under my nearby Bible and my copy of the “order of worship” usually sits a folder and, nestled inside, lies my sermon.

Not so Sunday. I looked down and the folder wasn’t there. I figured it was in the fellowship hall and I’d set it down during Sunday School. Anyway, I slipped out and into my study. I figured that, rather than scurrying around through the sanctuary and fellowship hall and inevitably distracting folks, I’d just print off another copy.

It should have been easy. But the desktop computer in my study doesn’t like the updated version of the word processing program on my laptop computer. Things were not going well.

By the way, when I later confessed to the congregation that I’d temporarily lost my sermon, I don’t think the loss struck them as particularly tragic.

But on to another loss.

I’m begging the computer to print, and at that moment, my wife rushes into the study to let me know it was time for communion–and the communion bread was lost. Or at least missing. Not in the tray.

I knew where it was. It was in a sack near my desk.