I may have tricked you. Traditionally this oxy-moronic statement has referred to the fight between church goers trying to preserve the old hymns vs. those trying to contemporize worship (all aspects I might add not just music). I think, though, that there is another war afoot. It is the war in our heads, in our hearts and in many of those around us as we worship every Sunday. The war that keeps us from getting over ourselves, that keeps us worried what others think while ironically we give very little thought to what God (who we supposedly worshipping) thinks. It is tough, it is a battle.
I hate getting up early in the morning. I generally hate the process of waking. Don't get me wrong, I love to be alive and I love the prospects for the day ahead, but waking ugh. The later the better, and bring on the coffee. But lately I have been waking early, really early, front end loading my days, getting more done. I have learned I literally have to focus myself into action. As my alarm goes off I think about the things I will be doing and how good I am going to feel when they are done. Yes I hit several snoozes!
I think preparing and entering into worship is similar. I think we need to focus mentally on how God would be pleased. Why he would care to hear us sing (loudly). How showing God gratitude and appreciation for everything he does and has done for us is inspiring. There is an element where when we finish doing that, we have accomplished something. I am not trying to paint it as pain, but I do think that it is something that takes energy.
Almost two months ago I started working out an hour a day. At first, I sweat ridiculously, and felt physically challenged the whole time. A month passed, I lost weight, and I barely could break a sweat. So now what? I have had to take it to the next level. Try more intense exercise, different things to go to the next level. You see where I am going.
It is not always about amping it up, but even in our relationships we need to mix it up. Dinner out is a great treat, if it is a treat. But if it is three times a week, it probably doesn't feel like a date anymore. I need to find different ways to express my love to my wife, and after a while I can return to one that I haven't used for a while, and then it feels special again.
At the end of the day, the best relationships are the ones where you invest and where an investment in you is returned. I know something for sure. God will always return blessings to you. Are you investing, really putting energy into worship. Mixing it up, not coming with the same gift every Sunday (did I just engage the worship war aforementioned?). I will tell you this, wars are won a battle at a time. Working out nearly 28 days for an hour was accomplished 1 hour at a time. Worshipping God at with intentionality, energy and passion can start this Sunday, one hour at a time!