Onomatopoeia: 1, 2, 3!

"If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn't love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." --1 Corinthians 13:1; NLT.

"And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words." --Mattew 6:7; ESV.

Yeah, it's been a while. I miss having time to blog. Due to sleep deprivation, blog posts between June 10 and August 18 might be a little scatterbrained. Please forgive me in advance.

I will never forget the day when we were at our lock-in at Lincoln Lake Camp, minding our own business singing along, when all of a sudden, the youth pastor stops us in mid-singing to question us: "You are singing these lyrics, but are you really listening to yourself singing those words? Are you truly living out those words? Now sing it again and really mean it."

I often run into this problem: I go to Evensong, lift my hands in praise, bawl like a baby, leave forgetting what I had just been singing about, and continue my life like my heart had never been tugged at. It hit me hard last Sunday. Singing about opening our hearts to Christ and our walls falling down before Him, I found myself choking on my tears, trying hard not to draw attention to myself. I felt shame singing the words, thinking to myself, Yeah, God! I'm giving my all to You. Look at me laying it all at Your feet! when in all honesty, I'd be okay keeping my broken pieces to myself for them to accumulate and collect pressure for a helpless bystander to be victim to my wrath. That's not what God wants for me, though, and I surely know that, but what's stopping me!? People like me need to not only nod to the sermon and yell out an Amen! here and there. We need to take to heart what we have been taught and apply it to our lives. We need to be sincere in our worship to Christ because if we're simply going through the motions to please our peers, who is that helping? Certainly not us! God sees right through our facades and knows the truth behind our actions. We can't be without sincerity and wholeheartedness in our actions or words, or we'll simply be a "resounding gong" in the eyes and ears of the Lord.

This goes, too, with prayer: we can say fancy words to impress our peers, we can ramble on about meaningless things... or we can do what prayer is essentially for: talking to God. We don't want to find ourselves categorized with the pagan that rambled on in the temple. Rather, we want to sit off to the side, not bringing attention to ourselves and pouring our hearts out to God in full surrender as we thank Him, praise Him, and ask Him for provision and care. We need not even speak audible words because God is a God who loves and can hear our prayers from our hearts. God's power is amazing!

I don't want to make noise: praise when I don't mean it or nonchalantly say some words to say I've prayed for the day. I want to live for God. Surely it's easier said than done, but with God, anything is possible.

We simply need to invite Him in. Break down walls, show God vulnerability, and He will work through us all.

God bless!