Go to sleep while I preach

Two weeks ago I preached a sermon that was too long. I can't recall the exact moment I determined to play with the God's of public speaking by tempting the outer limits of the adult attention span. I do recall what it felt like to sink slowly into the quicksand of my own words. The faces I surveyed, at least the one's that were still looking up, returned a glare of respectful ambivalence as if I could help myself. It was a manuscripted mess of my own making.

I've only been at this preaching thing for a few years so it's still possible I'll get an email on Monday from somebody lamenting the "too-short sermon" on Sunday. Anything is possible for God, right? Until the apocalypse comes, I'll continue to take my chances on keeping it tight and getting to the point.

But what if I had to write a sermon of exactly six words? That's the challenge of Smith Magazine's Six Word Memoirs. For the last two weeks, I've returned to the memoirs to survey the pithy, often humorous, and rarely dull biographies that stretch exactly six words. My favorite so far is: "Valedictorian and class clown. Home schooled."

There's a website dedicated to the project where you can offer your own memoir and read others. The next time your preacher talks you to sleep, send him the link.