“Any man or woman on this earth who is bored or turned off by worship is not ready for heaven” A. W. Tozer
When I read this quote on Instagram last week it really provoked me. When we read or hear the word ‘worship’ many of us instinctively think first of sung worship. Whether that is joining together on a Sunday and being led by the worship team in songs of praise or singing out hearts out to the latest songs from our favourite worship bands as we cook or drive to work, or even sitting pensively with our Bible, journal and cup of tea while listening to some more meditative worship songs to enable us to better engage with God’s word or help heal our souls. Most of us think first of these types of things when we hear the word worship.
Of course, there is nothing ‘wrong’ with that, only in as much as it could limit us and God.
This quote had already got me thinking and then coupled with something a friend said to me later in the week I really started to consider more about what worship looks like for me.
I was sat with my friend and we were listening to some independent worship and one of the songs included the beautiful vocals of a choir. Choirs are of particular interest to my friend and I at the moment because of a new work project so it grabbed his attention. He turned to me and said that when he gets to heaven, he hopes that God will let him join the choir of angels so that he can worship God for eternity.
A beautiful thought, but not how I have been imagining eternity. I have always imagined eternity to be spent in worship but had not thought much more about what that could look like. As someone who appreciates music and does like to worship God through sung worship but is unfortunately not particularly gifted in this area, I’m not sure the choir of angels is really for me. Now this really had my attention and got me thinking.
One evening after work I came home and I took myself and my journal onto the roof terrace of my building, with it’s beautiful 360 view of the city complete with a volcanic and mountain skyline in the distance. As I was sat praying, I caught myself being distracted by the sky as the sun began to set and all manner of colours were being painted in front of me, changing from one minute to the next. Without thinking I was thanking God for His beautiful creation and for allowing me to experience it and enjoy it. Praising His artistry and yes, worshipping Him!
God showed me one of the ways that I personally worship Him most, finding and appreciating beauty. Beauty in creation, the sky as the sun sets and is lit up in vibrant yellows, oranges and pinks turning to deep violets and dark blues or even a misty grey sky as the clouds sit on top of and in contrast to a rich dark green forest. Beauty in the captivating flutter of a hummingbird or delicate and intricate wing of a dragonfly. This list could go on forever as I realised that I worship God in all the beauty He created and found myself in awe of a God who made all this and this isn’t even the world in it’s original perfect state, this is a broken world, post fall.
Imagine the recreated heaven and earth in all it’s glory! I can’t wait!
God had even more for me, as I prayed and gave Him glory, worshiping Him for all this beauty, He showed me that I find beauty in His people too. I seek to find beauty in both the world and people. I love to see a person, to know them more deeply and discover their potential. It was as if God whispered to me in that moment that that is how he loves and sees me, us. He sees all our beauty and potential and wants to unlock it. I’m not claiming to be like God, although that is the goal of course to be more Christ like and closer to God every day, but it was as if God said to me that it was one of my gifts. What’s more God told me to share it, to help others enjoy all the beauty and worship God that way too. He reminded me of my passion and joy for writing, he told me to use it more. For me writing is so many things, one element that I love is the ability to capture a moment and freeze it in time. A beautiful piece of writing can last a lifetime, centuries, maybe even an eternity.
All of this was further confirmed when I enthusiastically shared all my thoughts with a friend and he told me that he could see me loving people this way and using the whole of life as an act of worship. And isn’t that the point, to simply worship God in every way possible all the time.
So, I will be here worshipping God as I appreciate the way He paints the sky, through fascination as I enjoy all the wonderful creatures He made, as I see beauty in the people around me, even if I have to search for it, and as I do my best to capture it in written form.
I hope this will be my life of worship from here right into eternity.