It was like Nickelback mixed with the growlings of a wolverine. Or Creed mixed with the bark of a tree. And this was the voice that was leading worship. Seriously, I don't think a voice gets that raspy without swallowing a bucket of sand or scratching the inside your throat with a couple of forks.
I was at Renovate, the weekly worship night for college age students in Albuquerque. It was a new band. It was really loud. It was really hard to focus. I spent the entire first song laughing. It was such an unexpected sound! The second song I spent looking around at some people, their arms raised, me marveling that they were able to focus with Raspy McRasperson singing and the music so loud it was shaking my very core. The third song I spent coming up with metaphors to use in writing this.
And yet there was redemption to be found in the final song, song number four. I was thinking about an elderly couple at the church I attended in Joplin. Every Sunday, they were there, sitting on the third row, right up front; arms raised, praising God. I'm sure that for them, the music was loud. I'm sure it was not the kind of music they were used to listening to, and I'm sure they would rather sing hymns. However, they were leaders in the church, and they recognized that worship can be offered to God, even when it doesn't follow the mold of our concept of worship music. The truth of the matter is that worship really isn't singing songs prettily or at the right volume. Worship is offering our hearts and lives to God, surrendering ourselves to Him.
And so I found myself at song number four, letting go of my preferences, surrendering that to God. I need to be more like the couple at church, taking every opportunity to give back praise to the creator of the universe, the God of the heavens, the beginning and the end. I can't think so highly of myself that I forego the chance to worship my maker, choosing to worship my ego instead.
And yes, I would still rather this band not lead the singing at Renovate again. But if they do, I will worship God. My God. Our God.