"She is clothed with strength and dignity..." Proverbs 31:25(a)
Then I remember: "You didn't get up to worry; you got up to worship!"
Oh yeah. I grab my Bible, iPod, and journal. I settle in on the couch.
Instantly, I'm ashamed for asking. How can I not know what to do next? I was raised in a Christian home, attended church weekly, spent 16 years attending Christian schools, and have taught for two decades in Christian schools.
Yet I am wondering: Exactly what is worship?
I can identify worship when I see it happening elsewhere: The praise and worship service. Worship through prayer. The entire congregation standing in worship.
Oh, I could go all English-teachery and pull out Webster:
1. reverent honor and homage paid to god or a sacred personage.
2. formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage.
3. adoring reverence or regard;
1. to render religious reverence and homage, as to a deity.
2. to attend services of divine worship.
3. to feel an adoring reverence or regard.
I'm not feeling much other than discomfort and foolishness right about now. I'm starting to realize how much of a "social worshipper" I am. I love being part of a worshipping group -- especially at a women's retreat -- our individual voices blended (and mine well masked!) in song.
Synergy and collaboration are my two favorite words; I love doing things together. I truly hate doing things alone. Sure, I could start singing a favorite praise song, but I loathe my voice. It's weak. Off-key. Powerless. It doesn't feel like real worship unless there's serious volume, harmony, talent.
(I am so not even touching "dancing before the Lord"!)
But I know that I, of all people, need physical acts of worship. I may be twenty years past the death-trap of Ed (eating disorder), but I can still snap instantly into old habits of disconnecting from my body and retreating into my head, especially when I'm feeling weak or worried.
So, I look up the root words of "worship." (Yes, I know I'm stalling. Anything to stay in the comfort zone of my brain!) Interestingly enough, it's made up of the words "worth" and "-ship." The "-ship" part simply means "state of being." And a search for "Worth" brings up merit. excellence. importance. value.
Worship demonstrates what I value.
Oh, I'll tell you with my words that I don't value worrying! But the truth shows up in my actions. I woke up early because I'm so worried about everything I've got to get done. And now I've spent the last thirty minutes worrying about worship!
I'm appalled. I can't say I'm shocked; I've only re-discovered how much of an achievement-focused Choleric zealot I really am a few hundred times in my life. But I've not seen it in this light.
Doing is my "god," and worry is my worship. This is an "ah-HA!" of the most disturbing kind.
I initially thought "Worship, not Worry" was nothing more than a cute alliterative catch phrase. Now I realize it's a baby step in a journey. Yes, I'm appalled. But I'm also in awe. Awed that the One of ultimate value follows me wherever my rationalizing mind wanders. Awed that He values me -- even when I'm busy worshipping another "god" -- enough to pursue and woo me.
I want my "worth-ship" to come down not to what I value but Who values me. And this is key to becoming a woman who is "clothed with strength and dignity", for the origin of the word "dignity" is none other than worth.
Dignity and worship go hand-in-hand.(Which makes so much sense. When am I the least dignified? When I am the most worried!)
I still don't know the "right" answer to my question: Exactly what is worship?
But I feel a song coming on. And I think that rather than worrying about how I'll sound, I'll simply worship.
I'd suggest you plug your ears, but you're not here--whew!
It isn't even about me.
This is about worship
It's about the One
who provides Refuge
to you and to me.
* * * * *
13 Bloggers, 13 topics, 1 Great God:
Contributing to Family Income / 2 Better Than 1
The Fear of the Lord / Satisfied by Love
Using Time Wisely / Blessed Beyond Measure
Taking Care of Needy / Shadow Wonder
Using Money Wisely / Jennifer Sikora
Keeping an Eye on Home / Just a Glimpse
She can Laugh at the Days Ahead / faith filled food for moms
Clothed in Strength and Dignity / One thing I’ve Learned
Taking Care of Others/ 2 savvy gals
Being Creative / A Patchwork Mommy
Bringing Variety to Family / Karen Dawkins
Extending your Hand to the Poor / Women’s Fellowship House
Organization / Teaching What is Good