A few weeks ago, the man who was conducting our Sunday church service welcomed the visitors (normal) and then said he hoped they enjoyed worshipping with us (not as normal).
My brain immediately sprung into action. “Do we worship? Is what we do here in this chapel every Sunday considered worshipping? What do we do that is worshipping?” and on and on. These questions kept churning in my brain. And they stayed there for a few weeks.
See, worship is not a word we normally use in our congregation (or ward, in the LDS vernacular). We sing hymns, take the Sacrament, and listen to talks given by members of the congregation on topics assigned by the leaders of our ward, but what part of that gives way to quiet meditation and thought that I would consider worship?
Obviously, the ordinance of the sacrament is supposed to be a time for that. That is its intention, but as a mother of four boys, my time during the sacrament ordinance is primarily occupied with keeping said boys from pushing each other off the pew.
I have had a wonderful experience during the partaking of the Sacrament. Once. When I was attending another ward without my children. So, I know what to hope for.
Also, the singing of hymns can be a time of worship and reflection, but if your chorister is not really into it, or you have small children, it can be really difficult to get to the place where you are truly reflecting on the words and singing your testimony.
There are occasionally musical numbers prepared that are beautiful and truly bring a spirit of worship for a few minutes, and I can focus on those, but that is not every week.
As these thoughts and questions mulled around in my head, I finally got to the point I was being lead to.
How do I worship?
So the next Sunday, I tried to sing with more heart, to focus on the Savior during the blessing and passing of the Sacrament. Result: my husband noted how much he loves my alto voice (I was singing soprano), and I got about 60 seconds of quiet reflection before my cuties NEEDED my attention. Hmm.
The Sunday after that was Fast and Testimony meeting, and I still had this question plaguing my thoughts. “How do I worship my Savior?” I had started a fast that didn’t really have much purpose, but I had started just the same, and while I was drying my hair, I realized that one way I could worship my Savior was to bear my testimony.
Please know that I’ve never had a problem bearing my testimony. I am more than happy to share it in small, intimate groups or to people who are curious about what I believe. I’ve been told I wear my testimony on my sleeve, but this inspiration was going to take some courage to follow through on.
See, our current ward is twice the size of any ward I’ve ever been in, and even though we’ve been here for over a year, I don’t feel I have a closeness with many people, like I have in our previous wards. So getting up and baring my very personal and sacred feelings to a bunch of people I don’t really know very well is extremely intimidating to me.
It was one of those times when you want to say, “Please, don’t ask me to do that.” But how can I say that when Jesus Christ suffered for me, did ask for the cup to be removed, and then saw the task to the end anyway? Surely I can walk to the front of a very large group of people and say how much I love Him.
So, I did. I didn’t die. I didn’t trip. I didn’t pass out. And I think I even sounded coherent! Except for the crying part, but, you know, some things can’t be helped.
Are there more ways to worship? Thousands. But in this one way, on this particular day, that was how I worshipped.