Worship is something that virtually everyone has been a part of, or at the very least, knows of it.  Everyone has a different experience and understanding of it, and I want to share my experience with you all.  This one week at camp I had a camper in my boat that had been in prison and on drugs for several years and he talked about how his life was transformed by Christ.  Unfortunately mine does not contain quite as riveting a plot, none the less, I hope you can relate, are encouraged, and can see that it was truly life changing.

My Experience with Worship

My parents are both Christians and I was therefore naturally brought up in the church and Sunday school, spent a decent amount of time learning the Church catechisms, and even more time pretending to learn them.  My local Church was traditional, people my age were few and far between with the average age in the congregation being in and around 60, and of course we only played music on the organ.  I had little to no interest in the bible as I despised reading anything and didn’t relate to anyone in the church.  I was there out of obligation rather than choice.  I wasn’t an angel in my youth either; I visited the headmaster from time to time and engaged in confrontation at home on a regular basis. I liked to think of myself as one of the hard lads that never cried and you didn’t want to mess with.  I don’t sound like much of an example at this point, but there was a turning point.

My dad had brought me to a worship night at my school and still didn’t know anyone.  Because of this I sat by myself on the ground with my arms and legs crossed, trying my best to show that I had no interest and didn’t want to be there.  As everyone else stood and sang the words trickled into my ears.  The songs were ones I hadn’t heard before, they had simple words and meanings I could grasp, talking of Gods love and through this praise, the penny finally dropped.  I grasped his sacrifice, love, and how I can be free through him.  I already had all this knowledge in my head, but the Holy Spirit moved in me and brought about understanding.  So what impact did this have on me?  It softened my heart and I quickly went from the disinterested hard lad to the kid sitting and balling his eyes out.  It wasn’t just the music and it wasn’t some kind of emotional rollercoaster, God finally broke through.  This was the start of my relationship with Christ where I have sought to know him better and pursue the life he has planned for me.

two friends stand before a campfire on a backpacking camp

Worship is Between You and God

One other lesson I have taken from this is that it doesn’t matter if you dance, sing, play an instrument, close your eyes, sing old hymens or new ones, have 1 person or 1000, it doesn’t and shouldn’t matter because it is between you and God.  Worship is personal and everyone’s experience with it is unique.  This brings me back to how I started my story, the Church and things I found fault in are now what I value and am able to appreciate. There was always life there, but I just couldn’t see it.

As a result, worship is something I am very passionate about and in my time at Rock-N-Water, I have loved being a part of.  I believe that it is a time in which you can communicate to God even though you aren’t using your own words.  It’s more than just a song, it’s a prayer to God where you can open your heart and show the adoration you have for him.  At Rock-N-Water there is an opportunity to be a part of a campfire every night of the week and join in worship.  I think out of everything that goes on in this fast paced camp, the worship is my favorite.  The book of psalms is incredible, but in closing, I will finish with the last verse in the book which I love, not just because it’s one of my favorite songs.

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord, Praise the Lord.”
Psalm 150:6 

By Stuart Hooks – Summer guide, and faithful Irishman