I’m getting really tired of crying. It’s not much of an issue during the week anymore, but it’s guaranteed on Sunday mornings. For the first time, I’d like to avoid it. Church has been a haven, but I don’t want to go this week. Crying my eyes out is not how I want to spend my tiny ration of energy. Should I go? Should I not go? This waffling is wasting energy and time, which is zipping around the clock. It’ll be time to leave soon, if I decide to go. Let me just go out on the deck for a minute. The weather is bland. I don’t really want to be here either. I don’t want to be anywhere. I whine to God, “Do I have to go?” I sense Him saying, “Yeeess” as if He were peering at me over His reading glasses, with a gentle smile. So I lug myself out the door.
When I arrive at church, the music is playing, loud as always, drowning out the world and helping me focus my thoughts. My thoughts, however, are not something I want to focus on today. I want to run from them. It’s kind of amazing how I can sing one set of words out loud and speak another set of words in my mind at the same time. I’m not sure I knew I could do that, and I do not like to multi-task. Nevertheless, while I sing out loud, I repeat in my head, “Less of me, more of You, less of me, more of You, less of me, more of You” in a desperate effort to avoid the tears and flee from myself.
As I’m doing this, it really happens. I am whisked away on the sound waves to a new place. All my attention belongs to God. No more me, all Him. I have found the happiest place there is. My career involves billable time, so I begrudgingly always know what time it is, but in this lovely new place, there is no time. It’s a luxury unfamiliar to me. I got here by singing to God with all my heart (I love to sing), and all my mind (I was running from myself), and all my strength (I had very little to begin with). Wow. Is this what God meant when He said in the Bible to love Him with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind? I’ve heard variations of this all my life but I think I just obeyed it for the first time ever. I gave Him every bit of the little I had, but He gave me back even more than I could have asked or imagined. I can’t recall the songs or the words, but the connection to pure joy is unforgettable.
I dragged my pitiful self to church that day withered and depleted, and left plump with indescribable joy. I feel better than I have in a very long time. Actually, I’m not sure I’ve ever felt quite like this. I didn’t know there was a healthy way to escape. But there is! I have been there. I’ve gotten pretty good at running to God for help, but running away to God is a whole new idea. I will still face everything head on, but I’ve got a new trick in my bag when I need to recharge.
Worship is a word I grew up with at church, but I never really considered what it meant. It was just another word for singing I thought. But what I experienced was much, much more than singing. I only got the tiniest taste, but it was so sweet and pure and real that I will never forget it. My whole idea of worship has been forever changed and so have I.