Present and accounted for.
3 weeks ago
There are seasons of life in which we wake up each morning with the fulfilled dreams of victory, love, satisfaction, and resolution ringing in our ears. The morning air rushes in with the promise that anything can happen, God is nearby, and we are really loved.Worship is, at these times, a gift - a way of saying thank you. Thank you, God, because whether I was aware of it or not, whether I sought you through the experience or not, I see you in it now, and I am so grateful for your kindness toward me.
There are other seasons of life, however, whether we're comfortable with admitting it or not, in which it feels like we're at the bottom of a well - deep, dark, and muddy. In our worst moments, we can no longer see the mouth of the well, and we sometimes wonder if there even is one. Worship, at these moments in particular, becomes a rope. Even if we have no strength to climb it, our cold and lonely fingers wrapped around its braid become a symbol that we are still connected to something, someone, in the world above - the world with skies, trees, rivers, and kind people whom we miss terribly.
And then there are seasons in which we feel that perhaps nothing is terribly wrong, and nothing is terribly right. We are somewhere on the plains, in the middle of the country, looking for miles with no trees to break our view, no valleys, no mountains. We are well air-conditioned, well fed, well attended by people who neither agree with us too passionately, nor disagree with us too strongly. We are happy, we guess, but we don't think we remember how happiness feels, or whether it is what we thought it was. Worship is, at these times, a bell. It rings to remind us that life, while it may seem vapid and featureless, is truly a tremendous affair. It is birth and death, suffering and resurrection. The clear sound of that bell on the wind tells us that the lull of comfort does not mean that God is far off or irrelevant. He is always near and always in love, always holy, and always coming... He is coming. He will finish things here, and begin a new kind of kingdom - a world without end. He will reign over his subjects who have been changed to be like Him, full of love, peace, and joy forever and ever. May this King be praised. Amen.