You do the math. Three sweaty boys, plus one water feature, plus a 75-degree March day equals?
I sat in the designed-for-solace prayer garden behind my church and next to a playground. The boys were unsatisfied to simply splash in the garden’s water fountain. It wasn’t enough for them to toss a few rocks into its base. Nope. Instead, it added up to some major water play.
I couldn’t help but giggle as I watched:
First, the red-cheeked boys tried plugging the water flow with their finger. Then they sprayed each other with the spout. Then they began inserting different sizes of sticks into the opening of the fountain desperately hoping it would cause a rocket-like explosion. Much to their dismay, the mom in me intervened asking them politely to refrain from inserting said twigs into the church’s water feature.
I just love boys. They always seem to go all in.
Adjacent to the fountain, I noticed an empty bench. All at once, a thought came: I wonder if Jesus is sitting here right now watching these boys. Perhaps He’s smiling. Maybe even laughing. And maybe even getting wet.
It made me think of the other well where a thirsty Jesus sat with a woman at high noon. When Jesus met her at the well, she wasn’t frolicking in the water, but drawing water. He asked her for a drink. Then, God invited her to partake of the living water and promised she’d never thirst if she drank the water He offered.
Next, Jesus spoke words that have been written on my heart ever since I first read them.
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” John 4:23-24.
As I read that passage many years ago, the Holy Spirit etched a prayer on my heart for my family:
Lord, shape us into a family of true worshipers who worship You in the Spirit and in truth.
Whenever God gives me a prayer, my mind envisions one thing, and His an entirely better, higher purpose . As I slowly learn how to worship in Spirit and in truth, God is elevating and expanding my understanding of worship.
The same Jesus who gave truth and living water to the woman at the well thousands of years ago did the same with me by the water feature this week. My unexpected and spontaneous encounter with the Living Water taught me another aspect of true worship. Jesus and I caught those pebble-throwing boys in an act of true worship, a pure and holy moment of boys being exactly who God created them to be. When a child of God does exactly what he or she is made for, it glorifies God and makes Jesus smile. I believe this is one important aspect of worship.
As pebble throwers, our doing is an act of worship. It pleases the Father when His love spontaneously flows to another through a small act of kindness. But for pebble throwers who belong to God, just being is worship. Brother Lawrence embraced this truth. God is pleased when he watches one of His children being who He made them to be. For example:
- a mother nursing and bonding with her baby
- a percussionist hammering out a new rhythm on the xylophone
- a chef chopping, seasoning, and tasting a new creation
- beautiful, wrinkled hands stitching dresses for children in Africa
- children playing duck-duck-goose
- an entrepreneur conceiving a new business idea
Those sweaty boys may not realize that God shaped their water fight into a moment of true worship, but the ripple effects were significant. He used them to remind me that true worship is being. Come to the well and dive into the conversation by leaving a comment below.
How do you define worship? In what ways do you worship God by doing exactly what He made you to do? What ripple effects do you see as a result?