Once was a time when I attended church for the singing. As I matured, I learned to love the sermons as much as the singing, but a few weeks ago, I realized that I now to go church despite the music. I had attended our church’s “Old Fogey” service (i.e. hymns and old praise music vs. the more contemporary songs) despite my young years and fell in love with the depth of the lyrics. Several months ago, the hymn service, poorly attended, was canceled. I had to attend the services with what some jokingly referred to as the 7-11 songs — 7 lines repeated 11 times.
“They simply aren’t deep,” I thought. “They don’t focus on all the attributes of God and Jesus — mostly just love with a little creation, forgiveness, and salvation thrown in.”
The music seemed to focus on different ways to express God’s love for us and seemed rather repetitive. “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever” was not just a song, it was the theme for every service… Singing of God’s love forever and ever and ever… To that apparent lack of depth I added more complaints: The lead singer sang so high I had to either sing like a nightingale or drop an octave and sing like a man; I didn’t have an ear to harmonize. So I considered solutions — such as arriving late each Sunday to purposely miss the singing. It didn’t seem to be a good choice.
In the midst of my discontent, I considered that songs aren’t the only form of worship, and as I rethought worship, I realized that my purest form of worship hadn’t necessarily ever been associated with singing at church, as much as I have often loved it. I worship God when I open my heart to Him — whether I am seeking Him in desperation, joying in an acute awareness of His presence, awing over how well He knows me, reflecting on His incredible goodness, laughing at His sense of humor, seeing Him in His amazing creation, glorifying Him intentionally or by simply attempting to do what He has called me to do and be. It is when I give Him my all, when I acknowledge that He is my all, when I allow Him to speak through me, to use me, to guide my thoughts and my behaviors — and my writings. Often my blog posts are a product of this personal worship, evidence to me that worship is so much more than a song.
So with this conviction, I entertained being content with my discontent. I felt my worship was rich, after all, even when not set to music.