When All Else Fails…

Pete & kiddos_MillCreek-WA_LAH_3005I didn’t run away from God. It was more of a drift, a gradual replacement of time normally dedicated to Him. Three weeks on the road—two weeks with the grandkids—will do that. Getting up early to go birding, eating breakfast on the run instead of at home with my Bible by my plate. Being woken at the first glimmer of dawn by two giggly little girls wanting to snuggle with Grandma and Papa Pete. Days full of familiar friends, new places, flowers, birds, and family. I didn’t run away from God. I got distracted.

We finally arrived home this week after driving 4,000 miles through nine states. After unpacking my suitcase, sorting the mail, and starting the first load of laundry, I sat down to write. Nothing came; my mind was a blank. But what about all those inspiring ideas I’d had while praying as I drove across Wyoming, Utah, Nevada? I’d never had a chance to write them down. They were forgotten. Worse, God wasn’t giving me any new insights. I felt disconnected. Distant. Chagrined that I’d let my most important relationship languish.

LAH_3102The obvious next step was to try and reconnect. I apologized, seeking forgiveness and asking for help in doing better next time. I tried reading my Bible. It was… “nice.” I tried praying. I’m sure God was listening, at least with one ear, but there was no response. When I tried to express my need for intimacy, I couldn’t find the words.

It wasn’t until I headed to the market to replenish our empty refrigerator that the breakthrough happened. I’d loaned my car to a friend while we were gone, and she had left the radio on, tuned to one of our local Christian stations. As I turned the key, praise music erupted from the speakers.

I’ve mentioned before that I struggle to worship with music. I have no musical talent whatsoever. You really don’t want to stand next to me at church—the wrong notes will give you an instant migraine! Repetition bores me to death; I find myself counting how many times we’ve sung each refrain, rather than focusing on the One the praise is for.

LAH_3032But in this case, hearing the music reminded me of something I should have learned years ago. When all else fails, worship. For some reason, worship cuts through the fog straight to God’s heart. We don’t have to pray eloquent prayers. We don’t have to sing on key. We just have to tell God how amazing He is and bow down before Him.

Obviously, driving to the market, I couldn’t literally get down on my knees. Sometimes that’s appropriate. In this case, I pictured myself bowing—submitting to God, proclaiming His supremacy and excellence. I even found myself singing with the radio. (I was in the car, so I couldn’t afflict anyone else with my voice. God apparently doesn’t care how melodious we are. After all, it was His choice to make me this way.)

I worshiped my way to the store, hummed quietly while loading the cart with milk, chicken, and veggies, and worshiped my way home again. Putting away the groceries became an act of worship. I made dinner in God’s honor. (I’m sure He likes pulled pork and coleslaw.) At our weekly home group that evening, I sang with a renewed focus and depth. And today as I start to edit the thousands of photos I took on our trip—that will be an act of worship too.

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