Lest anyone misread, I want to clarify:
I wrote the last post at the end of a long day, but I was inspired to get something down. When I came back this morning and re-read it, I was a little shocked. Here is what I did not intend.
I did not intend to imply that I am or ever was some sort of super-pastor. Nor did I intend to imply that God doesn’t care when we are tired, hurt, or less than whole physically or emotionally. Oh my sweet Lord, that is so not the case!
What I hoped to say, and failed, was that I don’t have to “praise God with my whole heart” as the song says. He is just as willing to accept the praise of my un-whole heart.
It is also important to me to note that most of those examples represented times when I did not feel very worshipful. I often had a very bad attitude about having to go to work to do this job to which I was called. The beauty of worship, though, is that it transcends me. God almost always used us most powerfully in corporate worship when we were sniping at each other behind the scenes, playing the music poorly, making mistakes in presentation like the wrong slides with a song, or so tired or sore that we were practically phoning it in.
Every time that happened, I was humbled. The lesson I learned, and the one I wanted to communicate on Monday, was that I could still worship and lead at worship when I wasn’t at my best. I didn’t have to wait until I felt like it. God feels like it all the time, and that’s more than enough for me.
Probably the most important lesson I have learned as a worship leader is that I do not have to “be ready” to worship. When I apprenticed at Hope Church, I often drove over the mountain at 5 am. When I worked at Center City, there was one summer when I was so sick, I didn’t get out of bed for a month for ANYTHING–but I went in to lead worship every Sunday. When I was at The Journey, I propped my surgery-booted foot on a chair and led from a stool.
God is ready for you no matter where you are emotionally, physically. I just drove in from Las Vegas (where I have been without wireless access for nearly a week) and I really wanted to just go to bed and save my next post for tomorrow. But even when I am tired, I can find something that is praiseworthy to mention.
Las Vegas is a nasty place, and about three hours into our drive away from there this morning we finally started seeing some beautiful red rocks and living cactus. My driving buddy and I sang along with Celine Dion at the top of our lungs for miles on end. At sunset, we were near Grants, New Mexico, and we watched the changing colors in our rearview as well as on the mesas ahead of us, while the sun filtered through the clouds in a huge spray of light across the interstate.
How can I have a fun day with a good friend and see so much beauty and arrive safe at home and not take twenty minutes to post a blog that gives some praise to the day’s creator?
Every breath of this fresh, cigarette-free air is heavenly. The thought of sleeping in my own bed causes a warm-snuggly visceral reaction! And my sweet pup was just wiggling with joy when I came in the door. Life is good.
Tired body, check. Good time with God today, check. I can recognize the song of my heart even as my eyelids droop and my fingers begin to mislead me on the keyboard. Sweetest of dreams.