The Irony of Worship

Last weekend, my 10 year old son and I embarked on an adventure to see the 2010 NBA All-Star game. Part of what made it an adventure was the fact that I forgot the tickets at home and didn’t realize until the parking lot attendant at the game asked, “You didn’t forget your tickets in the car, did you?” A wave of panic swept over me as I realized that the tickets weren’t even in the car but on my desk at home … 20 miles away. And then, my son melted down … thinking that we wouldn’t see the game. That’s another story – I’ll tell soon. It was also an adventure because we saw the game with 109,000 people – the largest crowd to ever see a game. It was electric and exhilirating and everything that a “big crowd” person like me loves!!! Some people see the glory of God in the quiet details of a sunset or a painted canyon and I often see it in the glow and electricity of a mass of people … all the energy and colors and accents and perspectives and movement and depth and size.

The reality that struck me the deepest was the irony of the event for my son and I. He was taking me to the game for my birthday. Back in September, when it was announced that tickets were going on sale for this incredible, historic event which was only a few miles from our house and two weeks before my 40th birthday. He announced that he wanted to take me for my birthday. Never mind the fact that he didn’t have the money to take me or that he REALLY wanted to go to the game and assumed that I would (I did very much but likely wouldn’t have bought tickets) … he wanted to take me. When I shared with someone last week that he was taking me to the game, they smiled, sensing the irony of “him taking me.” And, in that moment, I fully appreciated what was going on: I was giving him the money to do something that he wanted to do and allowing him to blame it on taking me! And, the thing is … I didn’t care that my son had “hoodwinked” me into taking him to the game. In one sense, he wasn’t thinking about it that way – he really believed he was taking me! Who cares that he isn’t old enough to appreciate the nuances of the situation … he wanted to spend time with me & that was more than enough. He’ll understand some day but even if not, I don’t care … the moments of getting to spend time with him – cheering, high fiving, screaming for millionaires throwing a leather ball into bucket … all good stuff!

And, the greater irony is that when I worship God through singing or giving or serving OR whatever I surrender and “give” to God … it is not ME giving ANYTHING to GOD … it is God giving me something so that we can connect. I know that God desires for me to understand because it will enhance our relationship and humble me, but I also know that, as a Father, He just loves being with me & that’s why He “commands” me to give and serve and sing and surrender … and, when I do, my heart is changed and shaped and molded in the presence of my Father.


~ by Ted Wueste on February 20, 2010.

One Response to “The Irony of Worship”

  1. Love this story! It really is a perfect illustration of our worship. I had no idea the NBA was so spiritual–my husband will be glad to know it.

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