Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Worship (corporate) (10/04/07)
But an old habit had resurfaced in my life and began to steal my satisfaction. I was a little embarrassed about it and at first I felt uncomfortable talking about it with my friends. I didnít think they would understand. They would think I was weak and theyíd judge me, my old friends at least would.
I had a yearning for it even though it had its roots so far in my past. I thought I had gotten stronger and wiser and was no longer so weak as to need it.
I started to do it with just a few new friends at first but after a while I started doing it with almost perfect strangers. I would even do it when I traveled. It wasnít hard to find others, like me, who had a weakness for it, even in cities where I didnít know anyone.
I had gone without it for years and thought I had finally outgrown it. I got to the point where I stopped thinking about it very much. I even started looking down at people who still did it as if they were weaker or more immature than I thought I was.
But then I began to hang out with the wrong sort of people again. At least they were the wrong sort of people if I wanted to continue my life as it was. These new friends seemed nice enough at first. I should have known that they were more than they appeared to be by the fact that they acted so peaceful and happy all the time and they were interested in so many other things besides just watching television. They invited me to their homes and after a while I started to do it again.
Iíll admit it. I am worshipping God again.
The things of this world no longer seem to satisfy me. But I donít mind. I feel alive again! When I praise God and worship with my church family I feel so excited! Itís hard to explain. My new family shares my burdens and my own troubles donít seem as ominous and overwhelming when I pray about the problems and concerns of others. My heart feels a strange, quickening sensation when I see my brothers and sisters, even before we begin to worship. Once the worship service starts, time seems to stop and my spirit soars.
When we worship God together in song my spirit feels renewed. I feel the presence of God descend on me like an early morning dew, glistening and sparkling with the first rays of the sun. I feel glad to be alive and infused with hope and gladness. When I listen to the Word of God being preached I feel like my mind is receiving a transfusion of reason and understanding.
I suppose I could quit if I wanted to but Sabbath worship has come to symbolize all that is good and great in my life and all the goodness that is to come! My life has been so enriched by worshipping my God with my brothers and sisters that I have come to appreciate the closing words of Holy Scripture: "Ö I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of lifeÖ.The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. AmenĒ (Rev. 22:16-17, 21).
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