I’m going to risk dating myself a bit here….back in the ’80’s, I absolutely loved working at our local “Mom & Pop” Christian bookstore. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t wait to be of age to fill out an official job application! I loved every minute (well, almost!) of my time working there. We offered customer service to the hilt. As employees, we were encouraged to read our books and listen to our music so we could aptly recommend whatever someone needed.
A teenager at that time, my steady diet of Christian music consisted of: the brand new group 4Him, Petra, “newbie” Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Kathy Troccoli, Truth, Margaret Becker, Twila Paris, Wayne Watson, Dallas Holm, Steve Camp, The Imperials, First Call and on and on the list goes. Little did I know, these days would serve to whet my appetite for an impending move to Nashville to work in the very industry I had come to love and esteem.
When employees of “my generation” were working on any given day, we would pop in a cassette (yes, a cassette!) of one of the previously mentioned artists. The music would then be piped throughout the store for all to hear. On the other hand, if we had employees of “the older generation” working, we typically had to listen to something more MOR, or middle of the road. On one such occasion, I vividly recall listening to a Maranatha Praise & Worship cassette. To be honest, I didn’t appreciate this type of music. Quite frankly, it put me to sleep.
What captured my attention about this particular worship song, albeit boring to listen to, was the title and lyric of one of the songs, “Let’s Forget About Ourselves”. I found myself captivated by those simple 4 words. How many teenagers do you know who aren’t wrapped up in themselves? Before I knew it, I was listening to more and more of the song out of curiosity. I realized that we can only truly worship once we’ve forgotten about ourselves. My focus has to turn completely off of me and onto Him.
Now, all these many years later, those lyrics still sing in my head during worship. I have to turn off my wandering mind. It’s an act of the will. For me personally, I focus more quickly on Him when the lights are almost out. I’m not able to look around me at all the many distractions vying for my attention. After all, worship has nothing to do with me; rather Soli Deo Gloria, Latin for “Glory to God alone”.