There’s an old story (apocryphal, perhaps) told about a young Southern preacher who swaggered up into the pulpit with great confidence. He had prepared his sermon expertly, memorized it exactly, knew it was excellent, and knew it would amaze the listening congregation. Yet when he stood to deliver the sermon, he flailed and floundered, missing his mark, bewildering the listeners. The sermon was a disaster. After the sermon boomeranged, he humbly walked out of the pulpit with stooped shoulders and sad countenance.
Afterward an old sister in the congregation sweetly advised the young preacher, “Perhaps if you would have gone up to the pulpit the way you came down, then you might have come down the way you went up.”