So last night was one of my favorite kinds: date night. I won’t gush too much. But suffice it to say I don’t take for granted being married to my best friend. I love tucking myself under his arm at a movie, laughing at the jokes together, wandering around a bookstore and laughing at off-the-wall titles, sharing real conversation that changes us right over the tops of plates from our favorite salad bar. I guess there were probably a few productive parts of the evening, but mostly we just get to enjoy each other. To revel in being an “us.”

Ask any widow, anyone who serves overseas, anyone who’s just sent their child back to college: There’s a luxury to simply being with the people we love.

So follow me on a bit of a mental leap to my schedule tonight–music practice at the church. I was debating on whether to join this week at all. There’s this business trip coming up, etc., etc. But as I’ve come back from Africa, I don’t always have these chances to just get all crazy-excited bout what God’s doing on behalf of the poor and think, You’re so stinkin’ cool, God.

But He was kind, see. He’s handed me back this lovely little package: music. After five and a half years of occasionally borrowing a keyboard, we found here a piano for free, folks.

And I get to sing every once in awhile with the worship team, which makes me happy as a lil’ old clam. I confess to getting this goofy expression of rapture on my face when I get to let loose in harmony. Everyone’s got their place where they’re just doing something that pretty unequivocally makes them happy, and this is one of mine.

I guess you could say He’s handed me this smooth, bright little jewel lately of being able to just…adore.

The Heady Delight of Accomplishing Nothing

As an achiever–not to mention a “spiritual blogger”–I can lead toward the productive even in my time with God. Remember the whole chief-end-of-man, this-is-the-main-thing-thing: Glorify God and enjoy him forever. I’m admitting that the “enjoy” snippet takes some mindfulness on my part. Y’know, somewhere in between packing lunches and work deadlines and “Mom, have you seen my Sharpies?” and shoot! I need to call my family so they know I really do love them. 

I love this thought from John Piper that God can do more in five seconds of prayer than in five years of study. And I know you can argue that isn’t adoring, per se. But not unlike the burst of intimacy from a date night–there’s something to be said for sheer presence. For setting aside our flurry of effort and productivity to simply revel in this God. It’s our the first and only thing, right? To love Him with everything we are.

 

Lord, it is fitting to rejoice in your beauty and to gaze upon your handiwork. While others may call this as waste of time, we recognize that unless we sit in adoration of you, we will forget whom we serve and for what purpose. Remind us why worship is always our first response to you. Amen.

Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Everyday Radicals

Somewhere in all of this, I need to say something like, God, you’re like my Disney World. My dark chocolate. My movie marathon.  Let me just hang out and get happy here, looking and experiencing and reveling. 

Five Low-prep Ways to Adore

  1. Look through another lover’s eyes. C.S. Lewis makes the remark that when his friend Charles died, instead of having more of his friend Ronald to himself, he actually loses part of Ronald. Only Charles can display Ronald in the certain ways they respond to and display one another. I’ve seen this in my husband: What if I’d never seen him as a dad? As a son? Relationships bring out aspects of people we’d otherwise never see. How much more does another one of God’s image-bearers enlighten who God is? We need regular, collective adoration and true connection with God’s people to illuminate more of who He is.
  2. Lose yourself in His personal expressions. This was the view from my porch this morning: snow in sunlight. I was awe-stricken. Get out in creation and witness his self-expression. G.K. Chesterton writes, I had always believed that the world involved magic: now I thought that perhaps it involved a magician.
  3. Listen. Peculiar to humans is this mind-blowing, heightened artform of music. We put our deepest sentiments to song. Whether it’s iTunes or belting it out in the shower or the accordion–immerse yourself.
  4. Endlessly take notes. Gratitude is one of the most constant ways to keep our eyes turned upward all day. As I quoted John Piper a couple of weeks ago: The fight for joy is first and always a fight to see–to see God as He really is.
  5. Get personal. Consider the way you personally best adore God. Here’s a quiz to help you unpack your worship “pathways”–though I like to think even more specifically and creatively about the ways my faith comes alive.

Tell us: What’s brought you to “adore” lately?

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