Last Sunday, Christmas Eve, we sang a few Christmas songs during our worship time. It wasn’t the traditional carols. Yes, “Go tell it” was one of them, but it was a different version. Then there were a couple of songs that I couldn’t name for you, much less sing well because I was unfamiliar with the tune. They were different and upbeat – even had a rap song thrown in for good measure. However, I enjoyed them.
Do you get tired of singing the old songs over and over? Does your worship go routine when the old songs are sung? Do we pay attention to the words any longer when it becomes routine? Is our worship affected by routine? I can imagine God saying – “sing me something new” – “feel something different in the newness for me.”
Routine. Rut. Same ol’ same ol’. I think my own routines get the best of me at times. I can imagine that God wants something different for us as well. Routines will kill the Holy Spirit’s movement. Routine is just a mind-numbing exercise. It’s hard to get excited about routines. Yes, I do find some comfort in routines, but it’s when it wears down to a rut that it becomes the monotony of life and just going through the motions.
December 1st, I started the Draw the Circle, 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson. Yesterday’s reading (Day 29) gave me a bit of a pause. It was all about getting out of the routine. The author wrote this profound statement “sacred routines become empty rituals if we do them out of left-brain memory instead of right-brain imagination.” I am good at left-brain work. It’s the creativity that I have a problem with, but I can see that creativity is something God put in us so that we can use it to worship Him more effectively. After all, wouldn’t the Creator give us that same desire to create – we are made in His own image, right?
If you have been following my blog for any time, you may have noticed that for the last year I have been posting on Thursdays. Before that I posted on Wednesdays. Since I started a new job two months ago, I realized that I need to move the day again. I can no longer write in the mornings when I have to be at work at 8 o’clock. This work isn’t working for me! So here I sit on a Saturday morning typing away. This is my right-brain activity for the day! I might throw in another creative outlet at some point as well at some other point in the week, but for now this is what works. Change is a good thing, right?
Mark Batterson noted a response to one of his sermons about prayer from someone in the audience concerning his continual prayer out of his knowledge of the human body. The responder had a degree in biology and started to thank God for all the interactions that occur in the body. He wrote “Thank You for mitochondria, which right now are creating ATP. Thank You for ATP. Thank You for glycolysis. Thank You for pyruvate.” This may not hit you as it hit me, but these are the things I am currently learning through my interest in healthy living.
This responder had a lot more knowledge than I do and he went on to other areas of the body and in nature as well. He was thanking God for the complete work that is going on in our bodies that we have no control over but by His hands we live and breathe and function without a single thought on our own. He did it. He sustains us even when we don’t even think about it. It’s just amazing what God has done for us. It’s His breath in our lungs. It’s His handiwork in our bodies. It’s all Him.
We can get in our routines and not even think about it. But how much more we would get out of life when we contemplate every aspect of our lives are in the palm of God’s hands. How much more we would worship Him when we realize how great and majestic He is and the work that He has done in us and through us. It’s time for a little creativity in our worship and in our prayer lives too. It’s time to get out of our routines and try something new. Are you with me in this?
We are starting a new year in just a few hours. Let’s make it a goal to try something different this year. Let’s tap into our creative imagination and watch what God can do in the midst of it. You up for it? Let me know what you come up with and how God responds to you in that newness. Happy New Year!
Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.