When Worship is WORK
Today I am writing something a little different (and a little longer) than usual for me. You see, this past week was a bit of a whirlwind. But I’m happy that we are through it, and enjoying some much-needed “family time.“
The bulk of this post I wrote a while ago, and I wasn’t sure anyone would ever read it. But today I want to encourage those of you who know what it means to work hard all weekend. Who know that “worship” and “work” have to coincide. Because, that’s where we are. And after a long weekend of working, we need encouragement. I hope you find some here: ************************
The sound of the kick drum fills the dark, empty theater. Around the room are groups of people talking excitedly and now in louder tones: sound checks have started. I smile.
I look for him, eyes now accustomed to the dimly lit room. I scan and scan….. until I find him. Currently he’s at the top of a ladder. On stage, wrench in hand, with a cable held between his teeth. He’s in fix-it mode. And rarely is he more attractive to me.
(Just now the bass is picked up in the house speakers. The wall behind me vibrates. I smile again. These are moments that I cherish.)
My head starts beating to the music. Enter the electric guitar, wailing… Crescendo! Crash of symbols. It is intense and beautiful. I look for him, again. He’s now seated behind his desk. Eyes focused. Fingers moving at lightning speed (pun intended). He hits buttons, corrects errors and begins programming for tonight’s event.
The lighting console is his brush. His canvas, the dark room. The fixtures and beams of light moving across the stage and throughout the room, are his paints. It is beautiful, and watching him, leaves me breathless.
As long as I have known my husband, his creativity and passion for his craft have inspired me. It stops me in my tracks and I am forced to watch. I am moved. I feel compelled to press in. To enter into the atmosphere he’s helping to create. The mental pictures that my mind take in will help me remember these moments long after they are over.
His art and drive toward excellence help to take the event from just a great musical performance, to something that is visually stunning. It goes from being a talented band that sound excellent musically, to what people will be talking about for days.
And this is where I fell in love with him. In arenas filled with haze. Dark theaters where I watched him in secret. Always able to find him in the crowd of thousands. Behind the scenes, hitting buttons, pushing faders, using beams of light to enhance the experience.
And today I sit watching him, yet again. Knowing that in just a few hours the House will be packed. Overflowing with people who have come to sing. To dance. To worship.
He’ll never be the guy on stage. He’ll never lead the songs. And if you ask him, there’s no place he’d rather be: then in the dark. Always in the shadows, wearing all black (not just to be cool like batman, but to stay hidden.) To keep those on the stage illuminated. To give them what they need. To serve. To lift them up. To light them up. To offer those that gather the opportunity to come and be escorted into worship. Not to be distracted. But to be ushered in.
His goal is not perfection – that never happens in his world. But he strives for excellence. Not for applause or recognition for himself. But with reverence. For One. With heart upward, giving his all. In worship. Because that is his gift.
This is the heart of those whose worship is also work. Who diligently seek to create an atmosphere and experience that will transform lives. They selflessly give of their talent (which they always continue to sharpen) and every week thousands reap the benefits.
Those of us in the crowd feel the presence of God. We cry and sing, and dance and are moved by the reality of His presence. We hear God’s whisper. We are aware of His love. We know His concern for the details of our lives. And we are able to push distractions aside, for just a few moments.
Worship – it’s more than just a guitar and songs sung in harmony. It is an act of passion. It is service. It is giving our all, to the only One who is worthy of our praise.
To all the musicians and vocalists, to the techs and engineers, to those you who live with headsets on and monitors in your ears – thank you. For serving, week after week. Faithfully. Tirelessly. Joyfully. We are better - because your worship is also your work.