While the new year may have just begun, many people are already planning their escape. We all know that—probably sometime come mid-July—we’re going to need a break. We’re going to want to lay aside our troubles for a bit. See, smell, feel something new. Connect with those we love, but probably don’t see enough.
Sounds like a vacation, but I could just as well be referring to worshipping God. What is worship, anyway, if not a break from the realities of stressful, earthbound life? Does it not refresh and rejuvenate our lives? Does it not reconnect us with our first love? One of the best things about worshipping God is that it brings us back in touch with the glories of our Creator.
Worship takes us away from our current circumstances and transports us to the kingdom of God. It is an escape from the troubles and unfortunate realities of life. Not through fantasy or drug-induced forgetfulness, but by reminding us of the greater reality of our circumstances: we are cared for by the Creator of this world and no trouble is too great for our sovereign God.
Praising God and meditating on His goodness gives us a way out of the prisons of our own making, a release from our close-minded opinions and perspectives. It frees us from the boundaries of our present circumstances and takes us where gratitude resides—gratitude for the One who rescued us and provides the way of escape from our sins.
When we focus on Christ, worship resets our hearts and recalibrates them according to the qualities God wants to cultivate in us. As we celebrate our loving God, our hearts align with His. We cannot stay angry, bitter, or resentful. We cannot hide behind emotional walls that protect us from past pain. Instead, we open all the doors and all the windows so we may be flooded by the love of God. It washes away our pain and leaves joy, gratitude, and love in its wake.
As we set aside our regular routines, our minds see all things new, and we praise God for what we couldn’t see in the haze of the everyday grind and smog. What we could only see dimly, we now see with clarity. We may even spot a way above our circumstances, for our troubles are so much smaller when we view them from atop our heavenly Father’s shoulders.
All of this can be done at any moment, from right where we’re sitting. But sometimes it’s easier to worship God someplace else, on a new-to-us piece of His creation, to see a uniquely created bit of the world that looks nothing like the bit we’ve come to know so well. When we worship in a new place, our imaginations roam. What does the kingdom of God look like? What will we see in heaven? Who is God, really? As the same old sun rises over a new horizon and sets upon another one, we breathe in the fresh air and our bodies tell us, yes, we are made new.
We get a glimpse of God in, literally, a new light. And we worship even more.
Ready to plan your escape? Consider joining us on the 2018 In Touch Alaska Cruise. You’ll get to praise your heavenly Father with music from a wide-variety of talented artists, as well as hear Christian naturalist Dr. Billy Caldwell talk about God’s creation of the universe amidst the beautiful Alaskan landscape. Find out more at intouch.org/alaska.