Learning to worship

I walked my family’s dog in the back of our neighborhood this morning (he’s a Shih Tzu, very embarrassing for me, really). There is a wooded path that meanders over a shadowed brook. The sun was shining through the trees. I was listening to music on my iPhone.

Incidentally, there is only music on my phone because my wife puts it there. She knows what I like and it magically appears. I have no idea how she does it. She also downloads sermons to my phone. They have completely changed my commute to work. Anyway…

On the walk to the path from my house, I heard the Charlie Daniels Band followed by Marky Mark. Yes, I grew up in the 80s — we are a sad generation, aren’t we? But then something wonderful happened. By the wisdom of the iPhone’s Shuffle feature, one of my praise and worship songs played. I looked up at the sun peeking through the green foliage and it was suddenly a moment of true God worship. I found myself singing aloud and raising my hands, palms up. I stood still, tilted my head back, and just worshiped my creator — the One who loves me no matter what I’ve done.

The 30-something jogger who I noticed too late was clearly concerned, but no matter.

Here’s what occurred to me. I learned how to worship at church. I learned how to praise my God through corporate worship. I saw and heard the worship team offer humble, honest, and loud worship through song and clapping and raised hands. I’ve seen thousands yield themselves to a time of praise where God is central and self is set aside. I’ve had the honor of joining in that experience and offering my voice to the celebration.

Yes, it was a great morning. The wise Shuffle genie even played two more worship songs in succession as I walked home. Yes, I continued to worship as I walked up my street. My neighbors stayed inside. Here is what I take away from a wonderful moment, though. While God loves our worship at any time and any place, we were meant (designed, created) to worship together, as one family in Christ Jesus. Please find a church that is on fire for Jesus. It will change your life and especially your walks.

Praise God!


About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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