Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Odd things we sing 3 - From the Inside Out

I was reminded of this one when we sang it the other day. I really quite like this song. We very nearly picked it for our wedding service, but eventually decided against it. I think it might be something to do with these lyrics from the 2nd verse (full lyrics here):

Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself
In bringing You praise

Now, I’m pretty certain I know what they mean: it’s about humbling ourselves, putting God in first place ahead of ourselves, forgetting about our own wants for a while as we give God glory.

Yet for me it still has something about it that makes me stop before singing this verse. Maybe it’s only me who sees it this way, but the first time I sang this song, I took these lines as implying that we should be aiming to lose ourselves in some kind of zen-like trance while worshipping God. Which doesn’t sit comfortably with me.

People experience meeting with God in all kinds of different ways, but I believe we are to do so fully engaging our minds just as much as we might engage our senses. God made us intelligent thinking beings, and cutting that part out of our worship experience just seems wrong to me. True worship comes as a response to understanding what God has done for us, and that involves using our brains.

So there you go, a serious point out of a misunderstanding of some slightly ambiguous lyrics :o)


koalainscotland said...

I've never had a problem with these lyrics, but I take your point. I guess I've 'lost' myself in worship often. I think it's a pride thing...less of us, more of God, expressing ourselves and not caring what others think of us while we do it.

DLDown said...

Yes, I think the (potential) ambiguity in that particular song's lyrics is probably quite separate from my point about using our brains - it was just what triggered me to think along those lines.

I do have great respect for songwriters who write (good!) worship songs for corporate use - that is an infinitely harder skill to master than writing personal songs that only I will ever sing.

I think I have the opposite thing to you, in that I tend to get too distracted by technicalities, as well as self-conscious in front of people!

DLDown said...

Also, the "consume me from the inside out" sounds a bit worrying. I've narrowed the diagnosis down to either an alien or a tapeworm.

koalainscotland said...

Thanks Jo. There's an image that's going to be stuck in my head every time I sing that song now. LOL!

Bob said...

Hey Jo just found your blog so I'd thought I'd leave a comment. Totally agree about the last verse in amazing grace, but never really had a problem with these words, as lorrie said, it's just talking about surrender to Gods will in a slightly poetic way.

DLDown said...

Yes, you and I know what they mean. I guess my concern is: what does the first-time-at-church-so-doesn't-know-christianese person go away with?