(Aside: I hosted a simulcast of Spencer Burke’s MONOTATION Creative Workshop in Albuquerque yesterday. The experience has left me wanting to once again embark on this thought exercise we call blogging. I hope, with help, to make this a useful site.)
When I was a kid, I was so mentally quick I was always frustrated with other people. Somehow I became obsessed with efficiency, and my mother would say, “You can’t be impatient with people. You have to give people a little grace.” For my 8th birthday, one of my presents was a button that read “God give me patience – RIGHT NOW!”
Well, life has a funny way of teaching us patience and that story is not going to take up space in this blog. But here I am more than 30 years later realizing, as I often begrudgingly do, that my mother was right about something.
Things don’t always work. Yesterday’s workshop was a study in “things not working.” I couldn’t find a hotspot, Spencer couldn’t find a hotspot, one of the video cameras’ batteries started dying, I didn’t receive the text message from my group telling me they were running late…and yet. And yet, when we got the web cast going, it was a very fun experience. When I went out alone with my camera, I had a wonderfully worshipful experience in spite of my inability to take a good picture. When I finally connected, after 12, with the folks who I was supposed to meet at 11, they extended a great deal of grace to me.
It is in both the good and the bad that we worship. It’s not a schedule on the church’s bulletin, nor is it music, nor does it relate to our physical location in a church building. It’s the moment when, walking through Old Town plaza I hear a joyful laugh and know that laugh belongs to someone I’m meeting, even though I’ve never met that person before. It’s getting to the hamburger joint and realizing they don’t take plastic just to have the youngest and quietest member of our group offer to pay for us all. Worship is the woman sitting in the park meditating, and the kids playing basketball, and the elderly woman whose car is leaking anti-freeze.
Worship is opportunity. It is active, participatory, every-day life. It can happen in the midst of complete silence, and in the throes of utter chaos. All we have to do is recognize the opportunity when we see it.