I went to bed last night stressed. I woke up this morning stressed. I felt like a crushing weight was overwhelming me. I blamed lack of “introvert” time. Even though I am an extrovert, I recognize I need quiet time almost as consistently as people-time. So I looked at the rest of my day and the week to come and tried to plan a time to “introvert” for a few hours. Unfortunately, this only made me more stressed. There was no time to “take off.” Work may pause momentarily, but life rarely does.
It was thus with a heavy – and overwhelmed – heart that I went to church this morning.
Yet, like so many Sunday mornings before, I felt a sense of peace almost as soon as worship began. The weight of the previous week slipped away. The uncertainty of the coming week became manageable. There was no worry or alarm. It wasn’t that the knowledge of what I needed to do slipped away. Rather, it returned to its proper proportion.
I think worship (especially corporate worship) is my main love language with God. I have to credit my Mom with that thought because she is the one who pointed it out. While I do gain a lot spiritually from prayer, fasting, Bible reading, and the many other ways of connecting with God, I experience the most peace and love through musical worship (if you can count my singing musical!). <I realize not all “worship” means music, but for the sake of this post when I refer to it, that is what I mean> It only takes a few songs on Sunday morning to buoy me throughout the week.
This realization really shifts the way I think about my personal quiet time. I easily fall into a check list. ‘Read the Bible? Check. Prayed? Okay….on with my day.’ However, Bible reading and prayer don’t push or uplift me the same way worship does. There isn’t a cookie cutter, one size fits all way to draw close to God. We’re all designed a little differently and we all connect a little differently too.
Philippians 4:4-7 reads, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
It is a familiar passage. I know I have read it many times without really thinking about it. However, today it particularly struck me. When do I rejoice most? When I am worshiping God. When do I feel God’s nearness? In worship. When do I feel at peace, thankful, and most apt to pray? In worship.
Sundays have always been special to me, but they are even more so now. Sunday mornings represent an hour of getting loved on by the God of the universe!