Monday, June 14, 2010
Hey! Who Turned off the Water? - The Worship/Shower Analogy
A great worship experience is like a great shower and shampoo. When it's going great, you can just stand there and let the whole thing wash over and envelop you. Ahhh, that wonderful washed clean feeling. Surrender to it.
There are a couple of things that can cause this awesome experience to fail. These are what I'll call my "pet peeves" of worship, which I'm going to rant about in today's post.
This post is #3 in a series about worship. Also see my previous, kinder, gentler posts, 4 Musical Languages of Worship and I Kiss with my Eyes Closed.
So for a minute, imagine yourself in the shower, getting ready to wash your hair. You're looking forward to it. You have everything you need in easy reach. Shampoo, creme rinse, soap, towel, hot and cold water controls. The water temperature is perfect. The water pressure is just right, not too hard, and not too soft. Everything is perfect. Grab the shampoo, palm it for a second, then massage it into the top of your head. That fantastic smell is all around you, that wonderful immersion into the bubbles and the water is deep within you. Let's let it happen.
Ok, so now for a minute, imagine yourself in the best worship situation possible. The lights are dim but you can still see. The music is perfectly balanced and seems to come from all around. Feel the bass and kick drum gently rock your rib cage. You know the song by heart, the words and tune, you're ready to start belting out your heart to your awesome God who loves you so very very much. Open up your heart, take a deep breath, sing the words of your joy and pain into the ear of the God who gave Himself for you. It's bliss. Let's let it happen.
Now, we get to the pet peeve part. The song winds down and the sound stops. The worship leader is talking about the next song. The moment that was, is no more. We've moved on to the next song, but we're not quite there yet. Waiting in between as the worship leader breaks the mood by pausing the worship and talking.
This is one of my pet peeves. It's like somebody turned off your water in mid-shampoo. What the heck? Who would do such a thing? What could possibly be so important that we have to stop the worship experience just because we're moving from one song to another? Do I need to be told that this next song is new? Do I need to be told what the song is about? Do I need to hear anything other than the conversation I'm already having with God?
Nope, nope, nope. I don't want any of that. What I want is that worship experience turned back on as soon as possible. I want that wonderful water washing over me again, renewing and cleaning me inside and out. That’s what I want and I’m not getting it. My worship is interrupted. It’s going to take me a couple verses of the next song before I can get back in the zone again.
Now that it's been said, let me let go of the rant. Let me find forgiveness for the worship leader who's just trying to do his job. Let me return to thoughts of that wonderful worship experience I crave like no other. Let me stop ranting and start to beg.
Please, Mr. Worship Leader, I know your heart is in the right place. I know you love the Lord as much as I do and all you want is to lead others into His throne room. But please, sir, once the worship starts happening, just get out of the way and let it happen. Embrace the medley. Embrace the parade of same-sounding familiar, even trite and mindless songs. We love those songs like we love that same shampoo we've bought and used since junior high school. Embrace that familiar warm cocoon of worship that seems to go on forever. Let us lather, rinse and repeat again and again. Let us stand in that warm water long after the last of the creme rinse has gone down the drain. Let us dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen.
That wonderful washed clean feeling. Surrender to it.