Sunday, February 21, 2010

Nothing Like a Little Sunday Morning Conviction...

They say confession is good for the soul. I don't know who they is, but I'll own it as my truth. That said, I have to make a confession. This preacher/teacher/minister/woman of God has not made it to church very many Sunday mornings during this school year. I could rattle off a list of reasons why—frustration with the church, laziness, lack of connection when I visit churches, temper tantrum when God doesn't come through the way I'd like—but they would all be excuses, so they really don't matter. What does matter is that I got up and made my way to Calvary Baptist Church in Morristown today. And it was good...

The worship was good, and best of all, the word was good! But in the midst of all of this good stuff, the Holy Spirit was doing a work on me, in me, and around me. This morning the male chorus was leading worship. Before the preaching they sang "Praise is What I Do." Some of the lyrics go a little something like this:

Praise is what I do
When I want to be close to You
I lift my hands in praise

Praise is who I am
I will praise Him while I can
I'll bless Him at all times

I vow to praise You
Through the good and the bad
I'll praise You
Whether happy or sad
I'll praise You
In all that I go through
Because praise is what I do
Cause I owe it all to You

First, I must admit that there was something heavenly and encouraging about hearing the voices of Black men lifted up in song. It was strong. It rocked my soul. And in the midst of this soul rocking, as I sang loudly with my heart lifted to God, the Holy Spirit came with an earthquake of sorts. Praise is What I Do...hmph, is praise really what you do? Praise is who I am...hmph, is praise really who you are? And then the big one praise your first response? Ok, God. I'm just trying to sing this song. I'm just trying to worship you. Do we really have to go there this morning. Yes, we did and sadly the answer to the questions that the Lord placed in my heart were no. First I complain. First I grumble. First I cry. First I get exasperated. First I scream. First I wave my fist. But praise first? When good stuff is happening, sure. But in those moments when all hell breaks loose, or when things don't go as planned, or when I'm exhausted and have no idea how stuff is gonna get done, or when there is .78¢ in my checking account and payday is seven days away, praise is not my primary or even secondary response.

And so, during this season of Lent I will be mindful of the priority of my praise so that one day soon my song will truly be, "Praise is what I do..."

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