The Best Student: Worship


Hello friends! This week marks for several students (including this author) the return to classes. In my case, I'm in a two week long intensive class which will leave me very little time to blog. And so I've set up these auto-entries to explore what it looks like to bring your A game to your work in the classroom. This week is all about being the best student!

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.


It has been said, correctly I believe, that most preachers only have six sermons that they preach. Six topics, all arranged in a different way, presented each week. I've thought about this long and hard when it comes to my preaching, and of course it's true. I really only have about six topics that I feel are in my wheelhouse. One of them is the concept of worship, and allowing worship to happen everywhere we are. Can you worship in the supermarket as well as you worship in your church building? Can you worship as well in the office as you do in your local chapel? And, more to our point here today, can you worship as hard while you're doing your school work as you do when you're singing your favorite hymn? 


The suggestion sounds absurd at first. School work as an act of worship? School work is often an excruciatingly painful experience, that students literally sing nasty songs about at the beginning and end of each and every school year. How could this be seen as an act of worship? How could this be something you praise God for allowing to be a part of your life. 


You realize that somewhere, somehow, along the line, participating in your studies is in fact doing what God created you to do. If you subscribe to the idea that God has a plan for your life (and I surely do) then God obviously planned for you to learn what you are learning, and to study is to exercise that call on your life. Perhaps it's difficult, but perhaps it's difficult in the same way that lifting weights is difficult to an aspiring athlete. Yes, it's not the most fun in the world. But it provides an opportunity for growth and excellence later down the line. You are learning in school to gather skills and talents, and ultimately use them in whatever vocation God is calling you towards.


A few ideas to keep you worship focused when you're studying:


1. Start every study session with prayer and scripture. Each morning, I read through the Presbyterian Church's daily lectionary. I read the morning Psalm at that point, but I save the evening Psalm for my daily study time. Whether I'm reading, or writing a paper, or any other kind of school work, I want to spend a bit of time in scripture and in prayer. Set up a little worship service for yourself right at your desk. (Incidentally, it's pretty cool to be able to go to a school where we begin each class with prayer. If you don't, gather together with a few Christian friends before each class and pray that your time of learning would also be a time of worship.)


2. Focus on where God is leading you through your studies. Again, maybe it's a little bit easier for me knowing that I'm pursuing a calling to ministry, but if what I mentioned above is true then God is calling you somewhere, and your studies are the road that takes you there. It's easy in the middle of the journey to forget where exactly it is you're going. A dear friend of mine gave me a pastor's stole for when I graduate, and I have it hanging next to my desk. Every time I sit down to read something I don't want to read, I try my best to remember where I'm going, and where this thing is leading me. 


Just some thoughts. Thanks for hanging in there on this series! More to come tomorrow!