Monday, June 20, 2011

When Worship Isn't

Without meaning to, my wife challenged me on my writing this past Friday. We were discussing another person's blog, and I remarked how they had clearly been writing about the same basic thing for a few weeks now. This was not a condemnation, as I bloody well know that there are things we have to wrestle through again and again. But she took the opportunity to tell me that she felt I had grown atonal in my writing as well. She didn't state this to imply I'm simply a one-trick blogging pony, but it did hit me that maybe I needed to skew a bit away from some of my writings of late.

So, here's a post that goes against my thematic grain.

I secretly used to love the Sundays when I was working with the church tech crew, children's ministry, speaking on stage myself, or otherwise occupied during the service. Not because I have such a mega-servant's heart, but because it meant that nine times out of ten, I could skip the worship music. The worship leaders (for the most part) were great and Godly women and men who have incredible talent, so I didn't want to avoid the music because it sounded like a Nazgul rave.

I didn't then, and still don't now, just feel completely comfortable with worship.

When I was in elementary school, our Sunday school teachers told us that Heaven was going to be this time when all we did was sit around worship God. I almost decided at that point to become an atheist, because nothing sounded more dull and more intimidating than that. Now, if God would like for me to worship Him by writing Him a nice story, doodling out a sketch, or maybe doing some yard work or something, that would be fine. But to sing worship songs all the time? Yeesh. Thanks, but no thanks.

Paradoxically, my Bachelor's degree is in music. Performance. Theory and composition. Therefore, one might presume that belting out some Passion and power chords should be in both my musical and spiritual natures.

The truth is, engaging in worship of God is a very intimate, personal experience, and even if everyone and their momma is standing there with arms high and heart abandoned, I feel like I am the only one remarkably open. Vulnerable. Which, yeah, I get is the point. It's not that I disagree with this or even doubt that I need it. I just feel very self-conscious about it. I also honestly don't get how someone can walk in, say hi to a few people, and then immediately close their eyes and go from zero to God in just a few seconds. It's not that I don't enjoy or want to worship God - although, to be perfectly honest, there are times when this is NOT high on my priority list. My heart and soul crave it, and maybe this has as much to do with how close I feel to the Creator as it does with anything else.

And I love that I am fighting through this, and not just keeping on keeping on with being comfortable in my discomfort.

So - I open this to you. I'll debate theology and spirituality until I'm hoarse, but this? This genuinely leaves me stymied more often than not. I welcome any and all advice, insight, and discussions you might want to bring on. Has anyone else ever felt this way? Or is this just another line item of my ever-growing list of personal quirks?

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