Okay, I admit it, sometimes I’m grumpy. Sometimes I wake up just annoyed for no reason. I found after I joined the staff team at YWAM Newcastle, I would wake up especially grumpy on Tuesday mornings when we had campus worship. Why? I had absolutely no idea. But I would walk into worship as a YWAM staff with my arms crossed, cup of coffee in my hands, ready to “worship”, while in reality, I would probably just observe the cute male staff (hey, I’m not on DTS, don’t judge!!) or think about funny vines for 30 minutes. It wasn’t until one of our staff, Nate Stevenson, spoke on the Discipleship Training School I was staffing that I realized what was up.
“Sometimes I’m leading worship, and even I’m in a bad mood,” Nate said. “But it’s not about me. In those moments, we can choose to say, ‘yes’ to those grumpy feelings, or we can choose to actually reject those feelings. We can say, ‘no’, and then say, ‘Hey God, this is what I’m feeling today’. Ultimately, we aren’t in worship to hear new music or feel good about ourselves. We’re in worship to pour out our affections to our Creator. Be free. Be simple. Be loved.”
I was blown away. I had no clue that I could choose to say, ‘no’ to my grumpy attitude, and engage my heart.
But of course, I was sceptical. It wasn’t until the following Tuesday when I was really forced to put this to the test. I had overslept, and while making my coffee that morning, I knocked over my aeropress and spilt it all over my cute worship outfit. So yeah, rough morning. I walked into campus worship once again with my arms crossed, but this time I heard Nate’s voice in the back of my mind: “We can say ‘no’ and then say, ‘Hey God, this is what I’m feeling today’.”
I decided at that moment to give it a try.
“Hey God,” I said, “I’ve had a pretty rough morning. I don’t wanna be here right now. But God, I want to worship you. Can you help me to position my heart so I can?”
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and began to think of all the things I knew about God. His kindness. His faithfulness. His intentionality. His goodness.
I smiled and heard God’s voice in my head say: “Thank you, my child.”
It’s okay to not always “feel like” worshipping but we have a choice to either stay in the place of “I don’t feel like it” or to submit those feelings to our Father and move on. Let’s not miss out on an opportunity to enter into the presence of God just because we don’t “feel like it”!