One of my mom’s favorite movies of all-time is The Sound of Music. I know that parents pass on a lot to their children, but sadly I didn’t inherit my mom’s love of musicals. Maybe that’s a recessive gene.
The problem I have with musicals is that no one’s life is plausibly like that. Who goes through their life as if it were completely normal, only to randomly burst into song and dance (often in chorus with other people). How does that work? Do you plan out when you’re going to sing, or is it like falling in love and you just know? Do you prepare songs and choreography for many different moods and situations ahead of time or do you just make it all up on the fly?
Now I know that movies aren’t a very good reflection of what life is really like. But most movies at least start with normal life before making it a little funnier or sexier or way more violent. Even sci-fi movies are more realistic to me compared to musicals. Aliens invading the earth seems way more believable than my neighbor Deion and I singing to each other across the fence about our days. Most of the movies that mean something to me are ones in which I can connect with the character or story in some way. With musicals that connection is hopeless.
I had this sickening realization the other day. I’m a Christian (not the sickening part) and my life is a musical. Most of my life looks relatively normal, but then at prescribed times in the week I meet up with other relatively normal people and start singing. I don’t dance too much (because I can’t dance), but sometimes I’ll close my eyes and sway. An hour or so later, we all stop singing and go about our business as if nothing just happened. In my Christian circle we call this worship.
I’m actually okay with this whole singing thing, as weird as it is. Some of the songs we sing to God are really good and meaningful, and singing true words about God often helps me feel closer to Him. The problem is I call this worship.
The reality is I worship a lot during the week. I worship me getting my way, I worship other people liking me and I even worship thrift-store t-shirts. I love those things and take action as a result of that love. I would never refer to vying for attention or being frustrated about traffic as a time of worship, since those things don’t involve singing, but in truth, those things are just as valid as other forms of worship.
God takes issue when my worship of other things competes with my worship of Him, because He’s the Lord of my life and those other things shouldn’t be. But because most of my worship of God (singing) is so different than my worship of everything else (doing), these two worlds can somewhat peacefully co-exist.
Jesus says I cannot worship two gods, that I will hate the one and love the other. Since I really do want God to be God in my life, I need to smash these singing and doing worlds together. I need to seriously look at where my love-caused action towards other things supplants my love-caused action toward God … and I probably need to break out in song a little more often.