The Real Meaning of Worship

Every Sunday, I take a break from writing about WorkLife, and Changing the World. Instead, I write about my imperfect understanding of God’s perfect love as my personal mission to spread His word and His love and to make a difference. You can read more Mission posts here.

Yesterday, I aggravated the back injury I sustained three years ago while playing basketball. 

After doing a quick turn to chase after the ball, the next thing I knew was that I was lying on the floor holding my lower back. I couldn't stand up. I couldn't get myself off the basketball court while play resumed. Ball is life.

Then, my father took me to the hospital to have my back x-rayed. I was also injected with pain reliever and muscle relaxant. (I'm scared of needles. I told the nurse that I could endure the pain of my back just to avoid the needle. The nurse told the doctor and she succeeded in persuading me to take the pain reliever shot.) I really thank God that my x-ray result turned out normal. I was really afraid I suffered a spine injury. Good thing it was just a lumbar strain. 

While waiting for the x-ray results, I had some thoughts. What if I couldn't play basketball anymore? What if I couldn't walk normally anymore? What if I couldn't even stand up anymore?

I remember what Bro. George Gabriel from The Feast shared in a worship leading workshop. His car broke down the night before the workshop. While lifting the spare tire, he felt a pain in his lower back. He probably had lumbar strain as well. Because if it was a slipped disc, he probably wouldn't have been able to attend the workshop. 

He had some thoughts as well. What if he couldn't stand up anymore? What if he couldn't walk? What if he couldn't jump while praising God any longer? After all, he is one of the best worship leaders in the country.

What Bro. George said literally brought tears to my eyes. He shared what he learned from another Feast Builder, Arun Gogna, "Worship is when there is nothing else."

He said that even when he could no longer jump for God, even when he could no longer sing or shout for the Lord, even when he could no longer stand up for Him, even when he couldn't lead worship anymore, he would continue to worship God...with his heart. Because worship goes beyond the songs and praises. Worship extends to the lives we live. Worship should come from our hearts and spirit. 

The songs may fade. The talks may lose their brilliance and power. The music may lose its magic. One day, I may literally be not able to stand up anymore. I may lose the strength I possess right now. But, what I can do, I will do to worship God. Most importantly, I will worship God from the heart. Because that's where He looks at when we worship Him. 

"Worship is when there is nothing else."

"Since this people draws near with words only and honors me with their lips alone, though their hearts are far from me, and fear of me has become mere precept of human teaching, therefore I will again deal with this people in surprising and wondrous fashion." — Isaiah 29:13-14


[31 Day Challenge Update] I got up at 4 AM, but because of my back pain, I went back to bed and fell asleep again. Sorry for the never-ending updates. I will try again tomorrow. Score: Red.