What Are You Worshipping? Learning to Fill the Void
I stared at the blank screen. I wondered if anything would ever appear. My mind was just empty. No words, no insight, no creativity. There was a void. And who even knows how to fill a void on their own? I know I sure don’t. I guess the good part is everyone learns as they go; we all start from that level playing field.
I came home from a four-day weekend retreat on a Sunday afternoon. The weather had done so much that weekend—warm and sunny on Thursday as I headed out to the retreat center, then snowy and gray on Saturday. By Sunday afternoon, though, things were sunny and brisk, hinting spring may be coming! (But this is Indiana, so weather is a lie!)
As I packed up the car to come home from my weekend with God, I remember feeling excited to have a long drive on a sunny day. I would listen to music and enjoy my last moments of solitude. Sometimes, as a mom of three boys, the quiet beckons, when no one is saying “Mom!” or asking for a snack. But by that Sunday, the world had shifted on the axis, and things were falling apart and unraveling. Instead of quiet time in the car, my husband explained how things had drastically changed within the four days I had missed out on a strong Wi-Fi signal and streaming news.
My kids would now be out of school. I just turned into a homeschool mom. The officials were telling us to hunker down at home and not go out unless we needed to. Suddenly, my husband was working from home. My salon shut down. Everything I knew about my life flipped. I felt like my career was ripped from me, and I was in a free fall.
I sat and stared at a blank screen in front of me. I couldn’t watch the news; I couldn’t find the words to write; I couldn’t even get paint on a blank canvas. I was broken, and when I break, I cannot create.
But through the loud volume of the world’s problems and my own, I heard a familiar whisper. God said, very gently, “What are you worshipping?”
It hit like a brick.
What am I worshipping? You, Lord. Right…?
1 Kings 19:11-12 (NIV) says, “The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”
I have been through enough fires, winds and earthquakes to decipher God’s loving whisper. And our world is in the midst of the fires, winds and earthquakes. Are we listening to those, or are we listening to that gentle breeze, the Holy Breath, the Ruach?
As God asked me what I was worshipping, I realized it was all of the other things instead of His voice.
It was the fires, the winds and the earthquakes—the things that just pass me by. It was my career and the money and security it provides. It was my time—that my kids go to school and I get time to grocery shop and get my nails done. It was my happiness I was worshipping, not my inner joy and peace that can only be of God. I was surely so far from this very moment. I was so consumed with what could or should, but not what IS. Yes, God is behind us and ahead of us, but he is in the very midst of this moment.
These moments are nudging me to choose what I can to better myself, to become less of what I think I am and more of what God calls me to be. In a sweet moment today, I chose to go for a walk and listen to worship music. God blessed me with a song called “The Blessing.” I had heard it before but never how God wanted me to hear it this morning. I pray someone else may hear what God has to say to them through that song—through beautiful moments in choosing God’s whisper over the fires, winds and earthquakes.