Walking into the dimly lit sanctuary, I find myself coughing from the fog that is descending upon the space. Colored lights are set dramatically at different angles on stage. I hear someone comment behind me, ?Is this worship or a Pink Floyd concert?? They laugh at their joke, but I am uneasily asking myself the same thing.
Worship begins. Low mellow music fills the air for a few measures while the stage lights slowly bring the band into view. Electric guitar riffs blare through the speaker directly over my head and catchy drumbeats cause everyone to rise to their feet. The sound of hands clapping fills my ears. The worship leader takes center stage and shouts, ?WE WORSHIP YOU JESUS!? The congregation roars in approval.
I stand alone in the crowd, feeling like I?m being swallowed. Tears prick my eyes, but these are not the tears of gratefulness that I used to offer in worship. These are tears of frustration. I feel no worshipfulness. I feel empty.
?God,? I whisper to myself, ?Where are You??
I know He?s probably here somewhere, but I can?t seem to find Him. I can?t connect in worship anymore. As soon as the music starts, the wall goes up. I try to connect, but most feeble attempts are just that and nothing more. The words mean nothing and become a jumble on the PowerPoint screen. The band soon becomes nothing more than loud noise. It all starts to seem so showy.
So instead of worshipping, I find myself becoming cynical and critical. I stop singing. I judge every typo on the screen (Your all I want? Really? Who?s proofing these things?) or missed note on stage. I walk away wondering what the point of it all was.
It wasn?t always like this. I used to thrive on worship. I am a vocalist, and used to be one of those peppy singers at the front of the stage. If I wasn?t on stage, I was in the front row with hands raised high to the heavens.
So where did this disconnect begin happening? Why has it happened? Is there something to this, a lesson to be learned? Do I have a message to share with the church or simply gunk to work through in my own life? This is why I will write; to discover all that is going on under the surface. I will sort out the good and hopefully sift away the bad.? I will learn as I go and maybe share something of value.
Hopefully I will be able to look at worship in a whole new light and emerge on the other side of this vast valley.