Great Expectations

 

After listening to my enthusiastic stories about the grandeur of the undersea world, my father decided to learn to scuba dive. After taking some courses in the clear, warm waters of Florida, he came to visit me in California and learn about the kelp forests for himself. I was a little concerned about him because the waters here can be cold and dark. It’s easy to become disoriented or entangled in the kelp and I kept a close eye on him as we swam out from the beach. After a last minute safety check, we started our descent.

It was spectacular! Strands of golden kelp reaching sixty feet from the ocean floor to the surface of the sea swayed in the gentle current as brilliant shafts of sunlight streamed down from above. Fish of every size, shape and color surrounded us. We were going to have an awesome dive.

Suddenly bubbles streamed out of dad’s regulator. It was free flowing and I made frantic gestures to him. “Surface! Surface!” I signaled. He looked at me and we began our slow ascent. By the time we broke the surface, I was nearly panicked. I spit my mouthpiece out and shouted, “What’s wrong? Are you okay?”

Dad gave me a puzzled look. I shouted, “The bubbles! The bubbles. What’s wrong?”

Then he grinned and admitted, “It was so fantastic, I couldn’t help but sing!”

Worship should be that way but it often isn’t. We are pre-occupied, distracted and focused on anything but what we should be doing so here are some suggestions I hope will help:

  1. Shift Gears. Early on in driver’s training, you learn to shift into a different gear when you start to climb a hill. Before we can truly worship God, we must take a moment to “shift gears” and center our thoughts on Him.
  2. Discover the Power of Gratitude. “Christians aren’t perfect – just forgiven.” As you are preparing for worship, take a moment to appreciate the gift of grace.
  3. Drop Your Inhibitions. A lot of people are afraid of their own voice. They are too self-conscious to sing. We have so many wonderful singers at Canyon View it can be tempting just to sit back and listen but the Lord loves a “joyful noise” and who are you to argue with God?
  4. Tap into the Fellowship. There is an energy in corporate worship. Have you felt it? It’s always there but sometimes our “receptors” are out of order. Reach out and tap into the power!
  5. Confession is Good for the Soul. Sin and guilt make it hard to worship. Confess your sins by name and feel the power of forgiveness.
  6. Be Filled with the Spirit. Paul told the Ephesians (and us) not to get drunk on wine “be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Ephesians 5:19, 20).
  7. Finally, expect great things! What you receive from worship is equal to what you put into worship. If you expect the singing to be bad and the lesson to be boring, I suspect that’s what you’ll receive but if you come expecting great things I promise you’ll receive even more blessings that you anticipated.

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