Some of my favorite memories growing were when I got caught up in a worship song. Now that I’m older, I understand (or should I say, I’m learning) that there are many different forms of worship. But there’s nothing quite like pouring out your heart through music.
Funny enough, I had to work backward.
I was lucky enough to grow up in a family that loved worship music. Not just 94.9 contemporary stuff – which was what I listened to the most. But also older hymns and quartet-like music. While I kept turning my radio back to 94.9 in my free time, I noticed early on that it just didn’t feel the same when I was with other people. There is a difference between singing when you’re home alone of with your mom in the car and singing in the middle of a group of other people.
That last one was the hardest, and I knew that it was going to be a problem when I first joined the youth group. I enjoyed the contemporary music, which I wasn’t used to hearing from a live band, but it wasn’t a comfortable setting for me. And that makes a difference. Or at least, it does for me. At the period in my life, I was trying to draw as little attention to myself as I could. The possibility of one of my neighbors hearing my singing voice was enough to put a stopper in my throat. It took months for me to finally calm down enough to actually match my voice to the words I was lip synching. I had to get used to the idea of corporate worship all over again, and as I got to know my surroundings and the music a little more and as I watched the joyous faces of some of the older students, I knew that I needed to get over that hurdle.
It took months for me to finally calm down enough to actually match my voice to the words I was lip synching. I had to get used to the idea of corporate worship all over again, and as I got to know my surroundings and the music a little more and as I watched the joyous faces of some of the older students, I knew that I needed to get over that hurdle.
And I’m glad I did because then I wouldn’t have been able to truly appreciate the long praise services that I experienced in college or learned the joy of sign singing. This is 100% definitely my favorite form of worship. I enjoyed the half-sensical signs and dances that I learned when I was younger, but it wasn’t until I started to learn ASL in earnest that a whole new language of praise opened up to me. Nowadays, I don’t sign sing as often as I used to, but I am still overcome with an absolute feeling of joy and…awe…whenever I do. It is a whole-body style of worship and praise that is beautiful to perform and to watch.
I’m so thankful that I made a routine of intentional daily praise when I was young. There is nothing quite like turning on the radio to a praise station and hearing that one song that you need to hear. For those few precious moments, we have a chance to put everything else aside and draw closer to God. I don’t plan on letting any moment of potential praise slip out of my hands ever again…but that’s going to mean keeping my eyes and my ears wide open.
Did anyone else have a similar experience with “learning to worship”?
Just for fun…:D