Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Experiment

This recovering church lady has some pretty sweet results from a quiet experiment that began a few weeks ago. My status on the RCL Facebook page that day was this: 
Can worship alone change your life? Even if you still do not have explanations, direction or understanding? I aim to find out.
Those questions seem to be easily answered and the answer an obvious one. BUT, keep in mind that they are being asked by a recovering church lady, one who has a DEEPLY ingrained belief that the things you do for God are what sets you apart as a believer. I don't WANT to believe that, but it is there, underneath all the good news about freedom and unconditional love. 

Can the act and attitude of worship....all by itself, make a difference in your life? Not in addition to teaching a Sunday school class, attending a Bible study or telling your neighbor about Jesus. I'm not doing any of that...all I am doing is worshiping each day.

Sometimes aloud, singing, praying. But most often it is quiet...looking up into the trees in my backyard and making myself sit there in the quiet, until my mind stops racing and questioning.

I miss standing shoulder to shoulder with friends as we sing our love to God in a sanctuary. I miss the warmth and goose-bumpiness of it, but for now I know that God wants to meet me in my backyard, just me and Him. That's OK for now, I know it's not permanent, because we were created to gather and I think He likes the loud crescendo of intertwined voices.

BUT, what a sweet sense of Him I caught this morning looking up into these trees. It felt like they were all pointing up, up. 

You can't see it in this photo but there is a bird on a branch in the center, singing its little heart out. We worshiped together today. 

Worship....has lifted me out of depression and a negative attitude in the last few weeks. I do not discount the value of praying friends also. 

Worship at this time, for me is about looking up. It is not so much an action as an awareness that God is near. Even if I do not feel it or can explain it, or can give answers to all of the "why's" in my head. Doesn't matter. 

Choosing to look for joy in each day is part of my worship. It is changing me back into the real me. As I type these words I feel overwhelmed with a new JOY that is unlike any I have known before. Months ago I was grumbling at the beautiful JOY mosaic that hangs above my kitchen sink. It seemed to mock me. 

Today it PERFECTLY expresses the starburst of joy I feel inside. I did not have to hunt for JOY today. It hunted and captured ME!

Here are others doing the 31 Days Challenge

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  1. Oh my, beautiful. This morning I woke up and had praise on my mind.. Although I did not feel praisy within. Weird. But He is with us in our hormone mornings and keeps fills us with a joy that does rejoice in His the dry, less joyful days. I so enjoy staring and worshiping with birds! Great post my friend.

  2. I so love this...Yes, I KNOW God will meet you there...and He will fill you with HIS joy, nothing artificial or worked up, nothing false or trying to keep up with the others in the fear of looking different or too spiritual if you raise your hands or sway to the music within your heart...just you and God, One on one...Eye to eye, Heart to heart, Spirit to Spirit... and sooner or later you will be ready to go back into the congregation...but you will be utterly changed...worship will never be the same again, because you will have found true, lasting JOY! Amen!

  3. I am glad you are finding joy and your spirits being lifted when you see the beautiful world God has created. As you mention there is also something powerful that happens when we gather together to worship, which is what I felt this morning singing in church. It is all good.

  4. i love this you can feel your spirit singing through every word! i love it when God'meets you in your backyard', and i never understand how people can enjoy nature and then say they do not believe! today God crept out of your words for me and into my heart, you passed on your joy.... thank you xxxx

  5. What a buffet of things you say here--the struggle of 'doing' you've lived with resonates, as does the way a simple word mocks. To get out of the 'normal' way of worship to meet Him as you look up, change perspective. And there He is in other ways as well--in song, in that same, life-giving word. Convicting and encouraging.
    I need to go outside.


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