Two nights ago.
the 20th hour, the night my final exams were completed, the ICC worship team and I were preparing for service the next morning..
We practiced two songs, trying to up our co-ordination and team-playing levels.. Trading my Sorrows and You are Good, with all the jings and jangs and flowers.. That was the plan at first, until physical fatigue set in for me, and it became a battle in my mind and a battle in my body..
The latter was wrought with wars of attrition.. The former being an argument; was it merely a performance, practicing like this for tomorrow's stage show? Am I doing a show? What if I just scrap all the ideas I suggested, and go the way it's always been practiced, straight and simple? Was two hours of training enough to carry the song the next day? By scrapping the ideas, is it giving up and being lazy?
Not surprisingly, at wits end I was.. And then I got some ideas to finally wrap up the two songs, and spent just 10 minutes on one more.. But yet it didn't quite seem right. I said to God, "I really really need your help".. Went to bed that night just wondering what needs to be corrected.
8am. Set my alarm for 7, wanting to pray, but as usual, the flesh is weak.. or was it God's decision to send me back to sleep? Woke up at 7.55, and I was nervous! What do I do, I can't go on stage like this! I could only limp over to my laptop; and started preparing. The verse of the day was:
Song of Solomon 8:13
10.15am. Singing those two songs felt fake indeed. It did. In my heart was, Lord how do I save this worship service.. See how much pride I had? as if it all rested on my hands. And He did the unthinkable. After the prophecy, we went into the song 'The Heart of Worship' (which was also intended for that Sunday morning, but I don't know why I chose that). It was incredible. Wow. Wow. Wow. For the first time I could actually cry my way through the song, as the congregation began to sing 'all is stripped away' 'longing just to bring something that's of worth'. Was I bringing anything meaningful and worthy enough to be sacrificed at the altar that morning? Was I just bringing a circus parade of musical talent, or a broken and contrite spirit?
Just before starting the song, the prophecy over the church was re-played on Audio, and I took the opportunity to nervously share what was just interfering with my battered intellect throughout the re-play:
When we worship our God, we come to church on Sunday morning, and yet put on a performance the whole other 6 days. It's not like we don't struggle to worship God in truth, with our lifestyles, but everyone is guilty of putting on a show. We come to God on Sundays singing songs with words but not with total hearts, because some of that heart has been spent putting on facade after facade; how we in our own little worlds have made worship to look the way we want it to look: All about us.
I'm coming back to the heart of worship, when it's all about You, it's all about You, Jesus.
On Sunday, we are face down.
From Monday to Saturday, we are face up, our sin puffing us up in our own estimation. We have money in our pockets, shoes on our feet. We have friends, and a career. We have what we call, a future. We have all this, and all that, and yet we can do things like turn off the news when we don't like what we see. We avoid people who don't have money in their pockets, with bare feet, no family, no career, no future. Yea it's easy to do life when the music of everything is playing our lives into tempo.
And when the music does fade, what do we have to hide behind? No mask, no jewelery, just a layer of, nothing. And we have but no choice, other than to come to Our Maker, saying, I am not worthy, make me like one of your servants. And Dad, in His great mercy, takes us not on a guilt trip but a journey of grace. This is the journey He took me on. This is true worship.
Monday, November 01, 2010
Two nights ago.