A year ago, I made a break with all my church responsibilities, there were many factors involved. What it boils down to is that God had a something to teach me, or wanted to begin teaching me. This learning process with God and I evolves daily, sometimes second by second. We had a new road to travel, and taking me out of everything was the way we were going to travel this one.
In the way of most new and unfamiliar things, I balked. This was not something I wanted. It seemed forced upon me and all the ways of it were sharply pointed and desperately uncomfortable. For all of my adult life, the path of worship to my Lord was familiar and easily traveled. There was beauty and power in it, and it was so easy to become lost in the process, because I knew each time where and how to find my God. It was the thing that defined me, that defined who I was in Christ, how I spoke most fluently and in which I was most deeply reached.
Unfortunately God is not one to be most concerned for our comfort, what He wants is our devotion, our unswerving attention in all things, and on paths with which one is familiar, it is easy to become distracted. So He began to teach me new ways. Where before music and song were the ways to find God easily, now I must work and search and seek and discover. Instead of creating melody with my voice, I found God in a small community of individuals committed to studying His Word together week after week until the weeks grew into years. Instead of lights and fog, God came in dressed as the surly, the popular, the disinterested, the eager, the hurting, the hopeful faces of young ladies and men just beginning the journey out of childhood and into that nebulous and scary territory called adolescence. Instead of rehearsals there were small groups. Instead of a song, a name tag and a cheerful greeting. Instead of comfortable distance there was the crushed closeness of bodies so closely pressed together that imperfections jumbled up and became one indistinguishable tangle of redeemable humanity.
After hours crawling about on the garage floor this weekend I realized that a year ago, I would never have thought that beauty and worship would be found in paint smudges and whispered prayers that what I blindly hoped for would somehow turn out acceptable. Instead as God guided each stroke and breathed inspiration into every line, I realized that again I was singing a song of worship. Somehow the tangled tendrils that I sent out in what seemed every direction, anchored in the One who most wants me to attain the prize, and drew me to Him to grow straight and true regardless of my reluctance and seeming inability. What was effortless for me was replaced with that which was hard fought, and only won in brokenness. A new way of living, a new way of worship, a new way to seek and discover the endless depths of Him for whom I hunger and thirst. I am the better for it. I wouldn't change a thing.