I would start out this post by saying "Everything I learned about worship, I learned from Ben Meador," but that wouldn't be completely accurate. Moderately, yes, but not completely. I had great professors at SAU, and mentors along the way that taught me more than I think I even realize. However, this post is to describe the most eye-opening experience I've ever had about what worship really means.
I was 19 or 20. At that time I was listening to a healthy dose of Mae, Copeland, Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, and many more. Some friends and I decided to go to a Brand New concert (always a good choice). One of my best friends, Ben was in the entourage going to the concert. Now, just a little character development before I proceed with the story. Ben is a couple years older than me and I looked up to him greatly. Especially in the way he loves God and his neighbor. Ben was one of the most "in tune" with the Lord people I'd ever met and I'm pretty sure he's never responded to anyone in anger in his life. Anytime he talked about Jesus, or anything else for that matter, I was there. Notebook in hand, soaking up as much knowledge as I could.
K, back to the story.
We got to the concert, knew every word of every song, sang our diaphragms out (people who sing correctly will appreciate that), and I was having some of the most fun I'd ever had. 3/4 of the way into the show I witnessed something I'll never forget. I was immediately in front of Ben in the pit. If you've never been at a general admission, standing only concert, you need to know that you are touch 6 people at all times. Everyone is pushing forward as much as they can, and it's crazy in the pit. It's awesome. Anyway, I was directly in front of Ben and our favorite song was playing. It's called "Seventy Times Seven" and during the climax of the song the lyrics are as follows:
Have another drink and drive yourself home
I hope there's ice on all the roads
And you can think of me when you forget your seat-belt
And again when your head goes through the windshield
I know, I know, it's not a very "nice" song. Which is one of the reasons why what happened next was so impact-full to me.
As those very words were being sung, I turn to enjoy this moment with Ben and he was hands-to-the-sky, almost teary-eyed, worship God with all he had.
I wasn't sure if he'd gone crazy, or if I should join in because I was missing something...
I couldn't wrap me head around what I had just seen. So, obviously as soon as I got a second to talk with Ben, I asked..."What the heck was that?" In my mind Ben was close to blasphemous. Ben answered, "Oh man. I can just worship to that."
The next words changed my view of God and worship forever. Ben said:
"For God to make us with the capability of such deep emotion, and to give someone the talent to be able to articulate their emotion so precisely through art and music is a GREAT reason to worship Him."
I couldn't believe all the reason and theology racing through my head to process what Ben had just said. I still, to this day, learn from those words. The main lesson I've learned from that experience was my approach to finding God in anything. In my mind, Ben was finding God in a "God-less" situation. When really he had it right all along.
There are no "God-less" situations. Worship Him accordingly.
Take off the water wings. Jump in the deep end. Learn how to swim.