Not long ago I was with a group of college students on a retreat designed to help us gain a sense of God’s calling on our lives; a sense of our vocation if you will. Part of that retreat experience involved a time of worship. This worship was not primarily about singing, listening to sermons, praying for our needs in the midst of a busy semester; rather, this worship was focused on listening for God’s voice in a different way.
So often worship is conceived of as “getting away from it all” or “leaving the world and all its problems and stresses behind so we can really focus on God.” The problem is a real focus on God reveals that God loves the world. He made it, he tends it, provides for it, works to save it and restore it; and that includes you and me. Real worship refocuses us on what is important to God. “God so loved the world…”
Jesus says, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
At this particular retreat, worship was spending 30-45 minutes looking through dozens of magazines reading, looking, seeing, and sensing “what does our heart resonate with.” We discovered that some stories and pictures stood out and touched a deep place within us. Each of discovered that although there were some common themes, often those needs, those problems, those people, and those stories that caught our personal attention were different than those of the others in worship that day. Each of us tore out pictures and articles and hung them on a frame that became our prayers offered to God in our worship that day. At the end of worship we were each left with some challenging questions. “How do these pictures, topics, people, and issues speak to us about God’s calling on our lives?” “As I reflect upon my heart’s deepest concern and compassion for God’s world, is it possible that God is calling me to use my time, skills, and life there?”
I invite you to give it a try. Read your next newspaper or magazine differently. Watch your next television show or movie in a new way. Listen to the songs that touch your heart. What is God saying to you about your life and your calling as you discover your heart for His world? Where can you be a worker and a caregiver in His harvest?