I recently came out of a Sunday service feeling as though my soul had not been moved by anything put out during the service. And it wasn’t the first time that I had felt that way, more like the 4th or 5th time straight. The songs weren’t doing it, the prayers weren’t uplifting, and the message from the pastor seemed convoluted and all over the place, leaving me with more questions than answers, more doubt than inspiration. I wondered to myself what’s really going on because service just did not feel the same way as it had in the past, and I do not like feeling as though I’m not getting filled when I go to church.
As I thought about the topic I wrote previously on in “What’s My Motivation,” I pondered if my worship was consistent, that I was in worship to God out of love and not out of habit or ritual, especially considering that things at my church have changed slightly, but not enough to say that the ritualism and traditionalism has shifted completely. Still confused, God sent my brother and sister over to the crib to help me flesh this out. And what God showed me humbled me so much that I wished I could take back everything I had thought about prior to the conversation we had, because I realized just how selfish I was.
God revealed to us that when I’m in a period of stagnation (where nothing good nor bad is happening, and worship to God APPEARS futile), it is not an opportunity to go searching for the next big FIX, that next big HIGH, or that next big, dare I say it, SPIRITUAL ORGASM in which I feel so alive in God. Because when I go in search of a fix, I’m saying to God that my relationship with Him is not good enough or satisfying enough to wait on Him to move in my life and give me what I need and desire when the time is appropriate. Every time I’ve hit a period of stagnation, I’ve always tried to cut and run to the next church, or the next choir, or the next thing, in search of a spiritual high that I should be able to have despite where I am, especially in a period of stagnation, where I have the opportunity to store up praises and thanksgiving to God in preparation for the eventual trial or trials to come.
But more importantly, while I’m in a period of stagnation, God revealed to me that OTHERS are in periods of spiritual highs, ah-ha’s, and inspiration all around me. And as I considered this, I realized that while I wasn’t necessarily feeling the message or the worship service every now and then, other people in the church WERE. They got the message they were supposed to receive, they got the miracle they needed from a song that was sung, and they got the inspiration they needed to move forward in God and in life. So although the message wasn’t for me, or the song wasn’t for me, someone in the service got the message. Someone got the inspiration from the songs and the prayers. And because we are ONE BODY (1 Corinthians 12), when one person rejoices, all should rejoice. Because we are ONE BODY, when one is inspired, all should be inspired. Because we are ONE BODY, when one feels the move of the spirit, all should feel moved by the spirit, if nothing more than just because that person, who is part of the Body of Christ, felt the spirit.
I realized that I have been so selfish, saying that God must have not been in this place, or God is trying to shift and people aren’t getting it, or that change needs to happen or people need to get out of the way. I realized that instead of having a selfish attitude, I need to be there to rejoice with those who are where they are in God, for that is the sign of spiritual maturity: the ability to recognize where I am in God and where others are in God, and not judge them for where they are, but instead encourage us all to build upon where we are in God together. Furthermore, I need to be patient enough to wait on others to see what God has shown me so that we can worship on the same level together, if that is God’s will. Until then, I must be willing to worship with others, even when I can’t feel what they are feeling. For as my siblings said to me, “It might just not be my Sunday to feel it. It doesn’t mean I won’t feel moved the next Sunday.”