A New Kind of Worship

Lord Jesus,

I love you. I just want you to kow that. I am pushing hard...but all for you, with you, past my limit and into the place where your grace and sufficiency dwells...for sure. The twinkling lights say "thank you". The candy says, "come eat with me", the gifts "you are a treasured part of my life, and no matter what, I want you to know and remember that every time you see this."

I remember often this time of year the Proverb that says something to the effect that a gift will calm the savage soul, the offended friend, the distant one. Each year, I think of some friendship I've let fall by the wayside and take something to let them know I care. I don't care if a gift is returned. I don't care if it makes them feel guilty mementarily...the idea is to rekindle the soul tie in some memorable way that says..."I still remember you. This relationship is valuable to me, even though it may not look the way it used to.

It's hard to take a risk and do that. Try it. You'll see what I mean.

I was cleaning my craft- guest- sick- sewing-stuff room a few minutes ago and ran across a Beth Moore assignment from a study I did a couple years ago in very much a "hanker down and survive" season in my faith and in my life. The question she asked us to address in letter form was, "What seek ye?"

I remember that it took me a month to muster up the courage to answer that question. And, the answer seemed very "obvious" to me at the time. Made perfect sense. Was Biblical.

But, now, I go back and read my "enlightened" answer (seemingly so at the time), and it seems so foreign to me...a million lifetimes ago. Limited. Wow.

I said, in a manner of words: "Christ is all, and all in all. Seek ye first the kingdom of God...those who put their hope in the Lord will never be disappointed or put to shame. I seek you. I want to seek you. You said that this is eternal life, that we lay down our lives...I do not want to be disappointed with life...so I seek you and you only."

I guess, somehow, in that crucible, God gave me something. I know I possess something now that I did not then. Articulating it may prove hard.

I think a lot of it, for me, came from studying The Purpose Driven Life. (One reason for the name of this blog.) It's not so much that having a Purpose seemed like such a foreign or new idea to me...No. It was the principles of worship...ones I learned there and ones God started whapping me over the head with (I'm a little hard headed...I give him permission. He tries to be a gentleman about the whole thing, whapping and all).

I fought this one, that "all of life should be, and can be worship." All thought should be and can be, prayer.

Well...heaven's sake, I said, what's the reverence in that? That takes away from the "thing" I do, the moments we as a team try to create for people. We are at worship, when all the world fades away! All of life can be given to God and He'll use it, but that's not worship.

Well, I think he was right. Now, don't get me wrong, I never agreed to this argument particularly. Discussed it with some I respect. At length. A few times. Kept arguing. Never changed my mind.

But, God started to change my life. My outlook. My perception. My daily agenda. My priorities. And you know what? For me, it was a move AWAY from church, the scriptures, and my prayer time, and "filling" times. Now, does that sound sacriligious and quirky or not? Well, I'm not telling you to stop...I'm just telling you that I was out of balance.

I was missing the experience of just living and walking with Him, trusting Him moment by moment. Somehow, I wanted the anointing for the day, or I would not go forward until I had it, as if my daily living wasn't enough. As if it didn't do a thing in the world for Him. I didn't trust myself, or Him, enough. I wanted assurance that we were doing something relevant and His plan, or I was literally paralyzed.

Now, you know what? I realized something, profound to me anyway. That is, to live fully, to enjoy my family, to minister to their needs and others I see in my day, to be mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically available TO THEM..this was my acceptable and spiritual act of worship. Now, that doesn't sound so far out saying it that way...but do I really need to pray about direction and anointing to wash the dishes and do the laundry and take a shower and minister to my family? I need His moment by moment filling, but mainly, I just need to obey and get off my tail end and do it. It does not take the kind of time or added instruction I was needing. Now, don't get me wrong, yes, there is a "daily" filling, a "daily" direction. I just lost my joy in the regular.

How much added "direction" do I need to surrender myself to my family? Well, a lot, as I go...but a whole, I know what I need to be about. I can do it with His strength. And He is pleased when I do it as if I were sitting there praying or singing or reading His word. I no longer partition out my day as I used to...and I'm not explainig well. I'm just not used to it all yet I suppose.

If I did everything I needed to do every day for them...I'd be more than busy from sunrise 'til long past sunset in certain seasons...this being one of them. I hit the ground running and lay down exhausted...and because that is where I need to be in this seaons...that IS my worship. So, I strive to immerse myself in it ...on the lookout for moments to capture, to save, to savor, to enjoy with Him. To let go of self critique and just know He's thrilled to death that I'm trying! I'm doing it! The rest...well, that is perseverance and survival of the fittest. And we are the fittest!

Somewhere along the way my "hate of the world" as compared to my love for Christ became more of a hate of the world than He ever intended! You know, "you must hate your father and mother and brother and come follow after me"? He loved the world! He enjoyed it. Laughed with it. Cherished His time here. Got mad here and there. But, He partied and lived with people in the moment past the point of fatigue and hunger and physical needs.

I guess what I'm saying is...for this season, being out of balance is what God is calling me to in order to worship Him. No, I can't stay here, and if I get too tired, I KNOW having done this long enough...he finds a way to bail me out, give me a break, provide rest.

But, in the meantime, He is for me, in my corner, rooting for me, and He wants me to have a good time playing the game with Him. He delights in watching me play the game. Just like I enjoy watching my daughter do her stage time. Her work and activity is my delight. Her nap on the couch afterward dog tired is my delight.

Whatever delights the Lord is what brings worship, glory, and honor to Him! So, go take a nap and worship God. (Sounds funny, huh?) Go put up your Christmas lights and lift him up in celebration. Go shop and honor those you love...honoring Him in your decisions to not overspend or overdo, but to love. He is worshipped. Now, you can take it too far and never set aside alone time with Him or in His word...you'll miss it and He'll draw you back to it. But, don't panic if it's not happening. He knows. Just keep going with Him.

Bedtime. I'm going to go get ready for another full day of worship tomorrow. I took the long road here, but just had it on my mind. Interested in your thoughts. Hope it spurred you to think. Comment or email with your opinions, ideas, or thoughts. I'm interested.



No comments: