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Sunday, August 31st, 2008

worship

this morning at church, we really had an incredible worship time. it was particularly good to have dr. fitz hill (president of arkansas baptist college and former razorback football assistant head coach) as the speaker. he was very engaging and spoke from the heart about the revitalization of arkansas baptist college. arkansas baptist was on the brink of closing and dr. hill has come in and really begun to create a 360 effect. in a strange way, hearing about the restoration of this historically black college and hearing about the transformation of a generation of young black men was very worshipful to me.

for me, though, the highlight was the music part of the worship (which isn’t always the case). (editorial note: some of you know that i’m a sucker for strings in the context of a worship band, so seeing and hearing—for the first time at fellowship—a violinist was particularly good for me. there’s something very stirring and emotional about hearing strings used in the right way…ok, i’m a dork about that…) anyway, beyond the violin, the music was incredible. the biggest standout was a song that i had never heard called invitation fountain by the violet burning. it wasn’t that the song was so incredible musically, but for me personally, the lyrics were particularly poignant. here’s the lyrics:
Let all who are weak 
All who are weary 
Come to the Rock 
Come to the Fountain 
All who have sailed 
On the rivers of heartache 
Come to the sea 
Come on, be set free! 
If You lead me Lord, 
I will follow 
Where You lead me Lord, 
I will Go 
Come and heal me Lord, 
I will follow 
Where You lead me Lord, 
I will go 
I will go 
(repeat verse 1)
(repeat chorus)
Heal me. 
Heal me. 
All who are weak 
All who are weary 
All who are tired 
All who are thirsty 
All who have failed 
All who are broken 
Come to the Rock 
Come to the Fountain
the way the band played it, we repeated the chorus several times, particularly the lines, i will go, i will go. those may seem like relatively simple lines, but for me, they carry great weight. those words really summarize a journey i’ve been on for the last 5 years or so. from moving 10 hours away from home to go to seminary to unexpectedly moving back home to start a church, i’ve tried to be faithful to i will go.
it may sound strange, but it was really a night of poetry about 5 or 6 years ago that launched me (among several things) into the place i am today. i was really at a stagnant place in life (and ministry) and didn’t know what to do next. i remember sitting one night, nearly in tears, reading scripture and asking god what to do. god’s way of revealing truth to me that night was through writing. the follow poem (via proverbs 19) emerged:
Complacency grows moss
and molds itself useless.
Sitting and waiting
for some kind of false divinity
to change fate.
Zeal is wasted without knowledge
and haste dilludes the path.
So I’ll move my pawn
to the next uninhabited square.
But I seek greater knowledge
for the moves I make are vanity.
So I’ll learn to count the broken yellow lines
that lead to my call
and pursue the purpose that prevails
somewhere else but here.
so, today, as we repeated If You lead me Lord / I will follow / Where You lead me Lord / I will Go / I will Go…, it was very powerful for me personally.
i don’t want to get all after school special on you or anything, but i think if more people decided to just go, we would be in a better place. or at least a different place. somewhere else but here.

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