Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Surprised by Worship: Discovering the Presence of God Where You Least Expect It
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (September 28, 2010)
Surprised by Worship is a book for all adults, regardless of age, who suspect they are missing much of the joy of the Christian life, being distracted by the pain, fear, and anxieties of life in the trenches. Building on an amazing introductory chapter written by Beth Moore---a blogger with 41,850 unique monthly visitors, Travis Cottrell explores biblical and modern-day examples of people who are experiencing life's travail, who bring greater meaning to their lives through spontaneous acts of worship. God's goodness is predictable. His mercy is dependable. His ability to work in every moment of our lives, leading us to Him, is unfailing. But often in those moments when we are distracted by great distress, we don't see or acknowledge God's presence and provision. It's at those times that worship can be our greatest resource, bringing us the hope, strength, even deliverance we so desperately need. It may be a startling headline on a web page, an unhappy email from a friend, a near miss on the freeway, or a scary diagnosis from the doctor. In every circumstance, God's voice can be heard, especially in those moments when we never expect it that worship is most meaningful.
I wouldn't have picked this book up. It arrived in the mail for review and I hadn't requested it. I wouldn't have requested it. My need-to-read pile of books is huge, and what can you say about worship that we don't already know? And my heart is soft enough. I will raise my hands. And I can't get through Blessed Be Your Name without weeping.
So. This book sat on my table, awaiting a pile to be assigned to. My daughter picked it up, read me a quote and it intrigued me. But then she put it down and moved on. We went to a Beth Moore conference and worshiped with Travis Cottrell. Just a man, good voice, nice worship time, but just a man. I still didn't pick up the book.
Then I tripped up in my walk of faith. And I plunged into regret and conviction. And as I wept through the process of being forgiven and hopefully eviscerating my bitter attitude, I opened the book. And it touched me. And ministered to me. And it surprised me. Less than 200 pages, it speaks to attitudes, it speaks to the heart as it shares stories of a fellow traveler's journey. Will it change your life? Don't know. Are you hurting? Do you have issues with worship? Do you feel dry? Do you want to explore another area of your faith? It could. For me, it was a sweet surprise at a perfect time.