Altogether Insufficiant

Have you ever tried to describe something you really loved?  It’s pretty difficult, I think.  No words really seem capable of describing that love.  This is the way I’m starting to feel about worship music.

I guess it started last week, when I decided I wanted to find some new worship music to listen to.  The songs I’d been singing just didn’t seem good enough.  So I asked around, listened to some new songs which were great, but that emptiness was still there.  Then I started to ask myself: what was I really looking for?  Was it beautiful music?  There was plenty of that out there.  Moving lyrics?  A little harder to find, but still attainable.  No, what I was really looking for was passion.  It was heart.

Here’s what I realized: the kind of passion we all need to have in worship can never be recorded.  Words can never describe the greatness of God.  Sure, we can say “awesome,” “beautiful,” “holy” and “great,” but God is so much more than that.  Our music should be the most amazing thing on earth(it’s what He deserves), but our own meager efforts at musicality could never approach the beauty of God.

We can’t even dream of getting close to God through some nice song.  It just won’t happen.  All we can do is pour out our heart, our every fiber of existence, humbly at His feet.  He’ll take care of the rest.

I think I want to write some worship music that is hard to listen to.  Something unsettling.  I hope some people will hate it; I think that’s the point.  It won’t be clean, but it will be from my heart.  That’s what counts.

“Then the man bowed low and worshiped the LORD.”–Genesis 24:26


3 thoughts on “Altogether Insufficiant

  1. argraves

    You’ve hit on some of the ideas I have art in general (music, fiction, poetry, visual arts, etc.). There is something about a good story, painting, song or musical composition that is simply indescribable. Critics can analyze the living daylights out of it, and their conclusions might be completely accurate. But if it is a truly remarkable work of art, there will always be something more. Something beyond words.

    I think the experience of art is a very spiritual thing. Robert Olen Butler, with whom I took a creative writing workshop, used the word “yearning.” To a more atheistic mind this might be understood as subconscious (another understanding of the nature of the same phenomenon). The best way I know to describe it is “spiritual resonance,” a deep, sometimes overwhelming familiarity we do not and probably will not ever understand.

    The word “beauty” is also applicable. In my experience, “beauty” is not necessarily pleasant, happy, or uplifting. Ernest Hemingway’s best stories are not usually happy or pleasant, but they are always beautiful. Or think of a good blues song: “My baby done left me…” Blues singers have some of the roughest voices, but there is such passion that it doesn’t matter. It’s beautiful. Again, not pleasant. Not happy. But beautiful. The outpouring of a soul chock full of pain, anxiety, and worry.

    For me, the act of worship is very similar but intensified and usually coupled with a feeling of happiness or joy rather than the deep sadness that usually accompanies some of the best novels I’ve read or a good John Lee Hooker song (“There’s a red house over yonder; that’s where my baby stay”).

  2. Pingback: Art, Beauty, and the Indescribable « Sincerely

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