A few years ago, a dear friend of mine gave a sober warning: Don’t get too swept away in the joy, because it will shift to the other side and be just that devastating.
This warning came off the heels of a mutual friend whom had just experienced the joy of the mountaintop plummet down to the lowest of valleys following a devastating personal tragedy.
I admit, I started a blog post on this very topic, those few years ago, however, I could never get the words quite right. Still. They’ve been with me. That conversation has sat with me in the most uncomfortable manner. And I don’t think that I’m typically one to perseverate.
After all these years, maybe, I finally understand what she was trying to say. Or perhaps, maybe I have made sense of her words on my own. Totally unrelated, maybe somewhat related, or even fully – my heart is seeking true worship.
Something my kids and I have discussed and my eldest recognized in one of the latest churches visited – sometimes, in our flesh, we confuse worship with our emotions. As the music is amped up, the pianist is hitting those keys, the drummer is doing his thing, the singers have “ushered us into the holiest of holies”, we feel something. Our emotions, at times are touched. And we call this worship. We get swept away in the feeling.
The thing about this type of “worship” is that all too often, when we are driven by our emotions, we can get to the place where perhaps we feel like worshipping, or we don’t. So, maybe we will worship, or we won’t. Is this really true worship?
I think about king David in the Bible. I personally believe that he knew worship. It was not about the emotion, the music, the ambience. It was a lifestyle he lived, it was who he was. David, that shepherd boy who became king, danced, unashamed before the Lord. He wrote numerous psalms (songs) to God. All to express his authentic worship to God in the good and the bad.
I want to be like this. I don’t want my worship to be dependent upon an emotion, based on how I feel. Rather, I want my worship to be authentic, unconditional, not dependent upon where I am, what I’m feeling, who’s around, or the ambience.
*Original Image by J.B.