Julie stood in church, baby in her arms, and wondered why it felt stale. Beautiful music, true lyrics, a good God — why was her heart bored and unwilling to sing along with her mouth?
People ask questions like these because we know we aren’t just supposed to show up to Sunday Worship, and we aren’t just supposed to sing. Our worship should come from a heart that trembles before God’s glory. So sometimes we look around on sleepy Sundays and wonder, “Why am I not feeling it? Is there anything I can do to spark the fire again?”
One thing you can do is take a walk.
It’s hard to put on a fall coat and walk through the neighborhood without getting lost in small wonders like crinkled leaves and cardinals or larger wonders like clouds, weather patterns and seasons. A universe jam-packed with marvels sits right outside our front door. Its curiosities move the heart. And they’re like that for a reason.
Romans 1:20 teaches that when we notice those wonders, we are glimpsing God’s “eternal power and divine nature.” Behind the curtain is a God who wants it plain and obvious that he is worthy of stopping and marveling before. So he made the universe full of reasons to stop and marvel before. So many reasons that we can look outside and say, “Surely whoever made this is worthy of my worship.” And so the prophet Jeremiah asks the one who trembles before the sea, “do you not tremble before Me?” (Jer 5:22)
The wonders of the outside world don’t just prove that God is glorious, they help us feel his glory. For someone who wants to reignite the joy of worship, the world outside gives us a thousand chances for a jump-start. All we have to do is find something marvelous, feel our hearts marvel, and praise God again.
There are so many ways to do this. You can take a child with you, who may help warm your heart as they delight in a simple puddle. You can follow a trail in Brown County until you forget all about whatever is worrying you and tell God how great a creator he is.
You can take one leaf back inside and try to draw it in as much detail as you can. When you reach your limit, you can praise him for embedding a hundred more levels of detail you’ll never grasp into that one leaf. Whatever you do, let the wonder turn to worship and let the worship turn into words.
To be sure, the greatest reason for worship is the good news of Jesus. He really did die to pay for sins and rise to guarantee eternal life for all who turn to him. There is a wonder worth worshiping for!
But sometimes a stale heart needs a breeze it can hear, a cold it can feel, and a cloud it can see to wake up to the wonder of God. If that’s you, take that fall walk and let the bare trees teach you to love the Lord again.
With God’s help, you may feel the difference next Sunday morning.
David Cook is senior pastor at Calvary Baptist Church, which meets at 10:30 a.m. Sundays at 200 Sunset Blvd., Greenwood. Send comments to [email protected]