The summer of 1965, the year I turned 11 years old, my Mom put my nine-year-old sister and me on a Greyhound bus bound for Minneapolis—a four-hour bus trip all by ourselves. What was the occasion? Was it a family emergency? Some sort of scandal? Was it a medical crisis?
No, it was much bigger than that. It was a pilgrimage, the culmination of months of fanatical dedication and study and planning. We were going to see…the Beatles in concert at Metropolitan Stadium!
We had given the widow’s mite–all that we had–$4.50 for a ticket. My sister Holly and I were huge fans of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Even to the point of speaking with British accents. Imagine that! Little girls from west central Minnesota with Norwegian brogues imitating the Liverpool accent!
We didn’t simply listen to She Loves You one time and accept that the Beatles were a good band. No, we couldn’t just leave it there. We listened to those records over and over and over and over again. Then we pooled our birthday money and allowance, so we could buy teen magazines in hopes of learning something very personal about our favorite Beatle. A 33 was $5.00, a 45 was $1.00, and we did odd jobs around the house to earn enough to buy the latest release. We dreamed of a marriage proposal and a fairytale life of celebrity. We were truly nutz about the Beatles!
Hour after hour and day after day, we listened and sang along, talked about them and read about them. We memorized lyrics and stats, and hoped for the day they would re-run Ed Sullivan. We were obsessed. And then we couldn’t wait to go out and share what we learned with friends, classmates, cousins, anyone who would listen.
I think that might be what it is like with worship—not just a one time observance and leave it there.
But all day every day
Continually equipping ourselves
Imitating the ways of Christ
Trying to speak in His accent
Trying to learn something personal about Him
Liking what He likes
Doing what He does
Living the way He lives.
Hoping for the day to personally encounter Him
In a nutshell—worshiping Him.
So the question becomes: When is the last time I behaved THAT passionately about anything, not to mention about the One who saved my soul? I know I have it in me. After all, I traveled four hours on a Greyhound bus with total strangers to see the band I worshiped when I was 11 years old. When I was a new believer, my hunger for the things of God was insatiable; I wanted to do whatever I could to get closer to Him. And I believe that pleased Him.
That was worship.
But now, today, what is my worship? What do I do daily or weekly to connect and honor my Lord with such deliberate fervency?
The answer stings like an icy wind.
I serve. But do I worship?
I am dutiful. But do I worship?
I am “good.” But do I worship?
I am kind. But do I worship?
I am respectable. But do I worship?
Do I worship?
I attend church.
I read Scripture.
I am in fellowship with other believers.
I reach out to unbelievers.
But do I worship?
Do I worship?
Do I worship?