State of Worship
If you click through the ‘Life in the Key of Me’ label, you’ll find a number of posts that highlight songs that mean a lot to me or have shaped my life in one way or another. I have always loved music, of all kinds. I love that music can evoke emotions and memories, it can set moods and create backdrops. We are a family that likes to blast music as loud as we can, we’ll play it during yard work or housework, we’ll take impromptu dance breaks, we’ll sing along, we’ll be loud and silly. Music is constantly in the background of our lives, and we love it that way.
So its no surprise that its no different for me and church. Yes, I love the intellectual content of the sermons. I enjoy sitting in my seat, furiously scribbling notes while I soak in the wisdom that’s being shared that day. But the worship… Oh, the worship… The sound of a congregation lifting their voices in praise. The tingle that runs along my arms when I feel His presence among us. The words and notes that are offered in worship. There’s just nothing like it for me. I often imagine what it will be like in Heaven when we get to worship Him with all the angels and saints. Worshipping with the church is such a small glimpse of what is ahead.
But I don’t want Worship to be constrained by the walls of a building. I don’t want the state of Worship to have a start and end time. My God isn’t limited by time or walls or locations or corporate worship or by any earthly boundaries. I want my Littles to understand that Worship happens at any time, in any place, anywhere where one is awed by the glory of God. I see Him everywhere, I seek Him in the minute, small details of my life, and I pray that is conveyed by the life I live.
There is this spot above the family cabin. It’s a hike from the top of the mountain. It’s a trail that weaves through underbrush and trees, its travels up, then down, and then up again. There’s a small valley, and a hilltop. There’s a number of spots where its just us and the glorious Rocky Mountains. Its in that space that I get a small glimpse of HIs majesty. I look around that area and I’m in awe of a God who is able to create such a landscape, whose creativity knows no bounds, is able to have such a deep, sacrificial love for me. That kind of love overwhelms me and I’m unable to resist raising my arms in Worship of Him.
When my arms are elbow-deep in dish soap and I’m loading the dishwasher for the second time that morning, I will hear a worship song over the sound of running water, and I’ll just close my eyes. It’s the most mundane of tasks, the cleaning of dishes, knowing it’ll be done again in just a few short hours, but to find that moment of joy in the midst of the ordinary, that is Worship. To allow the words of a song to fill your soul while little arms and hands grab at your legs or shirt, that is Worship.
The Littles are used to me stopping at random moments of cleaning to kneel on the floor of our living room, arms raised as I’m compelled to worship God. Natalie Grant’s “Your Great Name” does it for me, every single time.
Jesus, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us, Son of God and Man
You are high and lifted up; and all the world will praise your great name
Redeemer, My Healer, Lord Almighty
My savior, Defender, You are My King
It brings me to tears. I Worship Him because He is worthy. He is glorious and majestic and beautiful. I Worship because my soul can’t NOT worship the One who has saved me from myself.
And when Jesus Culture’s “Oh Happy Day” comes up on the playlist, the Littles and I will meet in the living room for a major dance party. Think House of Pain’s “Jump Around” and you’ll get a good idea of the chaos that reigns during that song.
Oh happy day, happy day
You washed my sin away
Oh happy day, happy day
I'll never be the same
Forever I am changed
I want the Littles to know that Worship is not defined by slow or fast, happy or sad. Worship is everything, as your soul is moved, as God speaks in that moment to you. Its raised arms and jumping and crying and laughing and thankful and reverent. Worship is what we do in the every day.
A couple of weeks ago, Jon and I needed a family day. A day alone, away from the house and routine, so we hopped in the car and cranked up the music. Grungor’s “Beautiful Things” came on and I sang along, oblivious to the rest in the car, when Jon nudged my arm and gestured to the back seat. I looked behind me and my heart rose in my throat and tears filled my eyes.
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
There sat my five-year-old little girl, buckled into her carseat. Her face was raised to the sky, her eyes were closed, her arms were raised, and she was singing her heart out to God. As far as Reagan was concerned, not another soul existed in that moment. It was obvious that it was she and God, and no one else. And she sang with such feeling. She Worshiped Him like I have never seen her Worship before. And it broke me. It was the most scared of moments, and I felt like I’d intruded on a private moment between the two of them. It was… beautiful.
I turned back around and Jon grabbed my hand and squeezed it. I want to live in a State of perpetual Worship. I want God to reveal Himself, in all His Majesty to me, to our family, and especially to my Littles, in such real and tangible ways that we can’t help but Worship. Aware. Awed. Thankful. Overwhelmed. Reverent. Humbled.