I've been desperate for worship.
Some days I'm starving for a quiet space to sit with my iTunes radio tuned to a Will Reagan channel. I want to lay with my eyes closed, moved by the depth of someone crying out to God. I get why King David loved the desert; why he longed for his old place of solitude and worship. Life climbs up on top of us and demands every moment of attention and every functionality from us. Often I'm surviving, but I'm not living. Worship feels like living to me.
Worship has meant different things to me in my lifetime. When I was really young, worship happened every time it rained. I'd grab my umbrella and my rain boots and walk circles in a field by my house. I'd listen to God in the silence and come home alive again. In high school worship was a wild culmination of emotion and experience. And then in my deepest darkness, worship was my lifeline. I would lay in my bed, with the lights off and turn up my stereo as loud as I could. I would cry over my brokenness and beg Jesus to rescue me.
Right now worship is where I go to knead away at my fear and shame. I sink into a place where only Jesus is. Sometimes worship is just my breath. It is waiting, always waiting. I stop striving and pushing and forcing. I stop demanding and searching and running. This is where I relinquish. My heart rises up and my gunk falls away. I'm learning new ways to sit in the presence of God. I'm learning new ways to bring all of me, even my childish fear of what I'll be in an uncontrolled environment. Who am I when I just let go? When I sit still and quiet? When I release my plan, my expectation and my desire? Who am I when I'm not running?
Isn't that the question we all want to avoid? It nags away at us in the background of every experience. It sits quietly and firmly in every overwhelming moment. Who are we when we aren't DOING? Who are we when we are still and quiet with our whole hearts turned towards the throne of God? Who are we when we relinquish all of our platforms and accolades? Who are we when we come to the rawest of spaces, where life melts into eternity and we have nothing else to do but acknowledge the God who holds our Hope in his hands?
There's only one way to find out. We must gently set life on the floor, with the full assurance that we will be back in a few moments. With the kind of trembling that comes from simply not knowing what lies beyond the threshold, we have to enter in. Enter in. Raw hearts, breathtaking surrender. Just sit with him. Breath in his nearness. Relinquish our expectation of what we will experience and let words and music and movement wash over us. This is where life lies, tucked away in the small moments of solitude. No pretense. No posturing. No explaining or demanding.
We who have listened to the sounds of the desert; who have opened our hearts to worship in our driest, loneliest, most glorious seasons know that this is where The Encounter happens. When life moves on and promises spring to life, we long for those moments again. That's where he was, and is. We were meant to experience God all alone and altogether. We were meant to connect our hearts to him. We are his. He is ours.
If you're desperate for worship too it's because you were created for it. You raise your hands and dance and jump and sing along to the music you love because it ignites something deep in your soul. You are MOVED by it. You were made for it. My prayer for you this week is that you will find worship. True, deep, holy worship. Maybe while you wrap presents, or run errands, or light candles on Tuesday night. Maybe in the moment between unwrapping gifts and eating breakfast all together. Maybe while everyone sleeps in front of the fire in the middle of the afternoon. Wherever you find it - find it.
Worship is your gift.