>With Such Passion That Our Hands Shake

>I wrote a while back about Identity and this is in no way intended to step on the toes I established then. Just to cover my bases :)

I in no way intend do define who I am by what I do, because I find my identity with Someone bigger than whatever accomplishments I could ever hope for on this temporary earth. However, what I do I hope to craft to reflect the magnificence of the God I serve. Right now I'm not talking necessarily about those minute-to-minute decisions, thoughts, or actions, because it is in those ways I will never be perfect and therefore in constant need of a system of checking. Without forgiveness and that mindset of always striving for perfection in the most Divine sense of the word, the rest of the thoughts I'm about to lay out hold no weight. This is the next step above the moment; in fact, it is a way of escaping from the moment.

The most appealing of traps in which we build our homes is that on which countless poorly written pop-rock songs / indie-romance films dwell: live for the moment, because once it's gone, it's lost forever. By that same logic, the argument contradicts itself at its core, thus making it a logical fallacy; for if not seizing the moment means that you might miss it and have it be gone forever, then doing everything in your power to make that moment yours means as soon as the moment passes your efforts were for naught. No, I submit that this is the reason for the emptiness that plagues our country (and even our world). Everybody who takes this advice has to constantly fill the void left by the moment which leaves as soon as it arises and makes them stuck in a cruel game of catch-up. Just like Zeno's example of Achilles and the tortoise, once locked in to that method of thinking, you can never actually catch up to the tortoise, because once you finally get to where it is, it has moved again.

The only way to escape from this flawed ideology is to not follow Fall Out Boy's advice (as crazy a notion as that may seem) and look past the moment. It takes some heartache and frustration to realize that the moment isn't all it's cracked up to be, but very little convincing to realize, once you're there, that you are capable of so much more than what one tiny snapshot in time can offer. Yes, prototypical Church-Answerer, we set our sights on Jesus and the example he set for us. That is all well and good, but I'll tell you this: you won't get there.

I'm not being Frankie Thunderstorm here either, because what we don't seem to realize is that this is the point. We can't do it.

Kinda makes you feel small, you say? It should. It should make you feel incompetent, lowly, some might even call it worthless, powerless to live up to such a magnanimous example set before us. It's ok to not be good enough.

This is where so many people professing to be Christians get it so wrong. We were not created to live up to a Divine example, we were created to bring our Creator delight and praise and adoration. Part of that delight does happen to be attempting to be more like our Example every day, but that's not the whole of it. It's knowing that we, in ourselves, will never be good enough, and even with help from God Himself, the point of our bodily forms is that we will mess up (note: this is NOT a free pass to sin. Please do not take that from this) and when we realize that even though we have defiled the name of our Creator He loves us anyway, and we worship Him for it.

The point of this blog, finally.

All of this in mind, we craft our worship out of everything that we hope to be. Striving for perfection is, in its most innocent and basic sense, our act of worship. One aspect of this that I want to touch on quickly is (don't die from the shock that I want to talk about this) music.

It frustrates me to no end, to a point beyond what words can describe (though I constantly attempt to describe it anyway), that we have created this "genre" of "worship music." Music IS worship. Words are not beautiful, for they are simply signifiers of grander ideas, but music... music transcends communities and beliefs and traditions and locations and stages of life and everything physical that separates us both from other humans and from the Divine. It creates, wordlessly, emotions followed by thoughts followed by a primitive connection, in its most foundational sense.

So WHY do we call this bland, formulaic, monotonous category of supernatural connection worship?

Because it's easier. It's easier to reuse melodies that have proven successful or chord progressions which we know work than it is to craft something so wonderful, so pleasing to our God's ears that we share the joy with Him of listening to something that he breathed life into follow His example and craft right back to Him. Perhaps it's that those gifted to create such expressions are more in love with traditions or expectations than the God who created it all. Maybe they're just lazy.

Let's re-learn that worship is a lifestyle. That if we are not searching for perfection like our Heavenly Father is perfect, we are insulting Him every time we slap His name on something that is mediocre.

Let's craft everything we do with such passion that our hands shake. It's a process that takes much longer than a moment can offer.

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.