MAYWEATHER/PACQUIAO & WORSHIP
While Erin and I were away this past week, we had the opportunity to watch the big fight with a few hundred people where we were staying. Even though we had planned this trip where I would be away from my phone and email, and tried to plan it to where I would be able to just relax without thinking about all the other things going on in life, there was simply no way to avoid a very stark truth staring me in the face during and especially after the final bell.
For, you see, many of those with whom we watched the fight were convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that Pacquiao had won, decisively, and would be awarded the unanimous decision. When the ring announcer let everyone know there had been a unanimous decision, they, along with Pacquiao, started celebrating. The celebration didn't last long, though. As it was declared that Mayweather had won the unanimous decision, people started booing, cussing, and declaring that '[T]his will be the last fight I ever watch!.'
Honestly, I didn't know one way or the other how to judge it, because I am in no way qualified to pass judgement on these sorts of things. In fact, the only reason I wanted to watch the fight is because I knew it would be part of the national discussion and I wanted to be up on the events.
Where my attention really was piqued, however, was in listening to the post-fight analysis by the experts in the field. And it was from these experts that I realized a very essential truth about how we may need to look at our worship of God, both individually and as a community.
How's that? Well…the experts knew that Mayweather had won, and won handily, because they knew that for which they should be looking.
Many fans, including those around me and Erin, were caught up in the flurry of activity from Pacquiao - it LOOKED like he had done a lot more, whereas Mayweather seemed rather passive and defensive the whole fight. And, of course, if Pacquiao was producing a flurry of punches and the like, then it would be easy to make the case Pacquiao had won.
Looking a bit closer, though, you could see that while Pacquiao had thrown a lot of punches, very few were connecting as a percentage. Meanwhile, Mayweather made his punches count, connecting at a much higher percentage. Additionally, Mayweather, if you asked the experts, had done this throughout his career - played a highly technical, defensive game where his punches counted.
What's this go to to with how we worship God?
Well, just like many had the natural tendency to follow the action and think Pacquiao had won, we, too, can focus a great deal on what catches our eyes and our emotions, missing out on what is truly going on (or not going on) in worship. An example:
A couple of weeks ago, I had a great discussion with some of you about worship with respect to a funeral. In the midst of this conversation, I was asked how you could do a funeral for someone you didn't know. The answer was easy: funerals, like any other worship service, are not about anyone other than God.
When we allow ourselves to think worship is about a style, or a person, or a place, or anything other than coming into the presence of God and worshiping the almighty with everything we have, focusing solely on God's holiness, then we, too, are like so many of the spectators of last Saturday's fight - we miss what is truly going on because we allow ourselves to be so easily distracted by the superfluous.
Grace and Peace, Lamar