Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fear itself

FDR: "So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes..."

Fear is bad.

But only if the object of your fear can do you no harm.  The more it can do you true harm, the wiser it is to fear it.

Trust isn't wise.

Trust is only as wise as the object of your trust.  The more it is trustworthy, the wiser it is to trust in it.

Do not be afraid, but trust wisely and well.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Goldilocks and the three worship events

What do I do with my heart when worship music pleases God but doesn't please me?

It's an important question, because it's going to happen to me again and again.  Sometimes I'll participate in a worship event where the songs are too hymnish or too George Beverly Shea (sorry, Dad).  My heart is rarely stirred to worship with organ music and complex lyrics where you sing first-second-and-fourth, though I recognize that as a fault in me, not the music.  Or maybe it will be a worship session with shouted lyrics and a throbbing beat but not so much in the melody department.  I keep expecting the smoke machine to kick in.  My heart doesn't naturally respond in worship in such environments, either.

Like the Goldilocks of legend, who found some porridge too hot, another too cold, and a third "just right," there is a mode of worship that best leads me into the throne-room.  And there are worship styles that I don't like.  Last night I went to a worship event at a church that seemed to be roughly split into two sets . . . the first set was the throbbing, shouted-lyric style for an hour, and the second was the more melodic music that I prefer.  I think I'll go again, but maybe I'll aim for going late.

And yet.

It's not as if the worship night were held for my benefit.  Several desired outcomes came from the event last night.  In no particular order:
  • I woke up this morning with "There's no other, other than You . . . I stand amazed!" running through my head.  That's good.
  • My three kids worshiped, danced (we need to get Michael into a hip-hop class), and had individual opportunity to worship God.  That's important.
  • Most of SGF came to check it out with us.  When I expressed to a couple of them that it was hard for me to worship to the throb and noise, they prayed for me.  I don't know that the second set would have been as meaningful without that.  Thanks for praying.
  • SGF arrived at 7 and connected with each other while the worship band was setting up, always good to connect.
What do I do with my heart when the music isn't seasoned to my taste?  It's a dish that's not meant for me, but I have to eat it in order to give it upward.  The problem won't go away by insulating myself and finding worship events where they serve my Goldilocks-medium flavor of worship music--that will just mask the symptom.  My heart needs to learn to praise Him in every circumstance.  Praise the Lord, o my soul . . .