Saturday, April 9, 2011

Worship: Sharing the Thoughts of God

I recently realized that I pray and worship nearly without stopping through my days. Of course I've always known the verse "Pray without ceasing," and, with most other Christians, just stared at it with an uncomprehending look on my face. So to realize that I was, in fact, more often than not fulfilling that verse was quite mind-blowing.

wor·ship: Adoring reverence or regard.

"Wait a second!" I thought, "I haven't been working on this! Shouldn't praying and worshiping be much more trouble than this? Surely I'm not . . ." But the truth is, I was. So I tried to figure out how this miracle had happened.

Whenever I say that I am trying to figure something out, that usually means that I am talking to God about it. I asked God if this could really be true about me and how in the world had it happened. He began to give me a short history of myself. In fact, though not in nearly so many words, I'm pretty sure He told me a story.

"Once, there was a girl named . . . well, okay, there IS a girl that is you. Anyways…You eventually began to get the idea that I loved you…That I liked you…That I liked hanging out with you, that I thought you were perfect and beautiful…That I liked you all the time, not just when you were on your best behavior.”

"When you FINALLY started to believe Me on these points... ('Cause, good grief child, you took a time being convinced.) …you started to forget about yourself and enjoy being with Me. You quit pretending that I was sometimes far away because you quit being ashamed for Me to be near. So we were always together.

"The more we hung out, the more you liked Me. The longer we were together the more you realized what it meant that I loved you perfectly. ('Cause if I do say so Myself, it's a pretty amazing love.) So you loved Me even more.

"We got comfortable around each other. It's not as though everything was always rosy. I'm pretty sure you could pick a fight with a fence post because you picked all sorts of fights with Me. They often ended with Me holding you while you cried. Sometimes they ended with you looking sheepish after finding My answers amazing and delightful. Don't worry though, you're learning to ask questions nicely before you pick a fight with the Lord of Angel Armies and your Loving Redeemer. Not that I mind. It just causes much less emotional trauma for you.

"In the mean time, we shared the way we see the world. I showed you millions of glimpses of what it was like before the curse came. I showed you what I saw when I called it all "good." I showed you that only eternity matters and that eternity is made of the moments called "now." I shared your pain, confusion, and darkness. In return you shared My dreams, my delight in people, my joy in my own creativity.

"Now we're up to the present. You declare beauty in the world around you because I declared beauty in You. You have love for me and those around you because you have accepted my love."

beau·ty: the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction

I don't go through my life spouting Christian songs (not that there's anything wrong with that but believe me, you should be grateful I don't). I don't go around quoting Psalms. I don't recite the Lord's Prayer non-stop. My thoughts act very much the same as they always have. They wander, they remember, they get distracted, they imagine, they process and they are impossible.

The difference is that I know that God is here. All my thoughts belong to Him, they are His concern to mold, to sort through, to keep, to discard, to mature. I do not say that I pray because I continually ask things of God. I say that I pray because I am in continuous communion with God.

I do not say that I worship because I continually sing. I say that I worship because I live in His thoughts. His thoughts are mine to treasure, to keep, to hold, to love, to wonder at. I am continually amazed by them and this adoring amazement is worship.

I find that worship itself is not hard work, prayer is not either. They both come very naturally. What is hard is believing God's thoughts towards me. Countless times I have tried to talk Him out of His love towards me. I have often doubted His delight in me. Many times I have refused to believe that He has redeemed me fully, perfectly. So many times I have struggled to believe that my actions cannot separate me from Him.

When I am hindered from believing God's thoughts, prayer ceases and worship withers into worry.

Worship springs from Love. Don't determine that you will pray more often, or for longer periods of time. It won't work. Determine that you will accept God's love whether it comes like a gentle spring rain or a tornado swirling and ripping through your life. Accept it whether it is as ridiculous as a green one-eyed alien knocking on your front door or as sensible as your mother fixing you supper.

[The post When God and I Do Lunch is a small example of when God shares how He sees something with me. I hope to write of many more moments like this one to make myself clearer. These times happen so quickly and are so simple it is hard to grab them and put them into words.]


Anonymous said...

You did it again, Lauren. :-) Thanks so much!

Eric said...

This is very good, Lauren! I like the idea that worship can occur even when (or especially when?) we aren't "working" on it or even aware of it. That fits with a lot of my own thoughts as well. Thanks for sharing!

shieldmaiden said...

Rachel, I'm glad to hear it. =)
Eric, thanks for reading. =)