Confession. I am not great at proofreading.
I know, I know. Writing 101, right? I know I should always carefully comb over what I have written before I hit “publish” “print” or “send” but very often I am multitasking and way behind and simply do not have time. Lucky for me, when it comes to church publications, I have an awesome office administrator and she catches my mistakes and makes me look good.
Sermons on the other hand? I am on my own.
Case in point: Last Saturday night I was re-reading my sermon when I looked back and realized that I wanted to cut back on a quote from Martin Luther I had used. I liked the quote in its entirety, but it was just too long for a sermon.
So I looked carefully at what I really needed, highlighted the part I did not need to use, deleted it and printed the sermon. Good for me! Done before 8:00. Home before my husband. A Saturday night miracle.
On Sunday morning I had a few minutes of quiet in my office and – for some reason – decided to give my sermon one last read-over before I went upstairs (something that I very rarely do). I read past the Martin Luther quote and was suddenly really confused. Something was missing … the transition did not make sense … the point just did not seem to get across like it had seemed to the night before.
In an instant I had a flashback to the night before when I was deleting some of that quote from Martin Luther. I pictured myself doing it; not only had I deleted the block quote, but I had also copied and deleted the entire paragraph that followed it.
You know – the paragraph that was absolutely vital to the transition I was making into the closing point of my sermon.
And so I found myself locked in my office at 9:15 on a Sunday morning trying to recreate half a page of my sermon. In between words I both cursed myself for being so careless and thanked God for giving me the nudge to proofread one last time.
New rule. From now on I will always proofread after printing. Oy vey!