Last week Tracie and I started watching a few episodes of a series on Netflix called Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It’s a comedy from the team that was behind 30 Rock on NBC about Kimmy, who has lived most of her life underground in a doomsday cult, and—suddenly freed—decides to try life in New York City. In one of the episodes, Kimmy has to undertake a particularly difficult task, and another woman asks her how she can stand it. She replies that, “You can do anything for 10 seconds. So I just count to 10. And then I just start over counting to 10, because I can do it for another 10 seconds.” In the episode it’s a very funny moment. Kimmy is naturally optimistic, and it seems like she could take any storm that comes her way. At the end of the episode, though, she finds herself in a very uncomfortable moment. And she starts counting…
I think there’s some wisdom in this. The following comparison isn’t perfect, but stay with me.
If you truly believe that worship is an ongoing state of existence, a living, moment-by-moment response to God, then worship should be as rhythmic and constant as breathing. But it’s not: we’re broken. We’ve lost what it means to walk in the Garden with God. We must reclaim a life after God’s heart, minute by minute and day by day. Sometimes that takes focusing for a few moments at a time, and then building up that time of recognizing God’s presence. So we start with just a 15 minute quiet time. We start with an hour on Sunday morning with the gathered church, the body of Christ. We take a season like Lent, which is only 40 days, and we try a spiritual discipline daily for that time.
Soon our quiet times have stretched to an hour. Our Sunday morning has become a whole day of Sabbath rest and worship. The season of Lent becomes the season of Easter, and beyond! When we draw near to Christ and focus on Him, He makes it possible for us to center our time around Him.
I am wrapping up a reading program called #lentchallenge. Author Margaret Feinberg put together the plan through the YouVersion Bible app. It’s been 40 days through the Gospels. As I read the story of Christ each day, I’ve been surprised to find I look forward to my time of reading and reflecting more and more. The couple of days I’ve missed my reading, I really have missed it. It is centering me and preparing me for Easter, when we celebrate the most amazing moments of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
If you want to pursue a life of worship, it starts today. Now, even. You don’t have to be perfect in your pursuit. Thank God: the perfect pursuit of the Father has already been accomplished by the Son! By the Spirit we can work out our salvation each day. It just takes small incremental—and intentional—steps toward Him. He meets us there, and He calls us on.