I’m at a YouthWorks training this week. People from all over the place are going to work together this summer. We come from different states and regions. It turns out people in the South handle conflict differently than people in the East. And this is important! And it helps us grow. I am so grateful for the diversity that exists in the United States, but also so grateful for how Midwesterners always make fast friends.
We come from different denominations. We kneel and bow and stand and dance. We baptize, dunk, and drip. We sing and shout. We play the organ and the drums. We sway, we lift hands, we bow our heads in silent prayer. And it helps us grow!
This morning I teared up in church for two reasons. First of all, pretty much anytime I sing corporate worship I cry. It’s just a such a clear picture to me of heaven. And it’s all so dang true – God is great and greatly to be praised. What else am I doing with my day if I’m not singing praises to Him? Plus I constantly miss being in a choir – adding my voice as part of something beautiful is such a clear picture to me of our job here on earth.
The second reason is this group of people. I love YouthWorks so much because interactions and experiences facilitated by this organization continue to deepen and broaden my faith. God is so big. SO BIG! And if I really believed that He is as big as He says He is – if I really believed that He is the Creator of the unknowable universe – if I really believed He’s the thinker behind humpback whales and also ladybugs – I would never even pretend for a second that I had a monopoly on what it means to love God and live for Him. Our God is infinite – vast and amazing and unimaginably ginormous. Why wouldn’t His family reflect that?
It would! It does! So the way that you might hear from and experience and worship God can and should and often does look completely different from the way that I hear from and experience and worship God. Which means I get to learn from you! I get to know God more because of who you are.
We are made in the image of God. We bear His image. We have the capacity and the potential to hint at who He is and what His intentions were when He created not only us but this whole dang vast and unknowable universe.
I am tempted to get so caught up in doing things the “right” way (which I’m sure you understand is code for “my” way) that I risk missing out on revelations from heaven. Praise the Lord He is committed to continuously knocking me off my high horse. Praise the Lord He is committed to continuously giving me eyes to see from another’s perspective. Praise the Lord He is more diverse – wide and deep and broad and long – that I can even know.
I am finding that when I look for God, I find Him. I am so excited to look for God this summer in Niagara Falls, Steubenville, and Toronto. I am so excited to look for God here in Pittsburgh this week. I am so excited to look for God in each of my staff members – in the words that they say, in how they worship God, in how they hear from Him, and in how they interact with each other. I am excited to look for when He shows up to teach and stretch and grow us all.
Since the beginning of time the Spirit has been on the move. (The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the water. – Genesis 1:2) He’s working. Don’t miss it because He’s doing something a little different. Don’t miss it because you’re too focused on yourself. Eyes open! Pay attention. Seek out the good. Look for God and find Him in each other.