Conference Speaking as an Act of Worship

For as long as I can remember, I’m not a huge fan of being away from home. I was the kid that would come over to your house for a sleepover and then get homesick. That is, if I actually made it to your house, too often I would cancel or turn down invites. One time I went to visit my grandma for a few days. She lived 100 miles from our house and I loved being down in her little town.  My sister had just spent several days with her, so my mom dropped me off and picked my sister up. My grandma was amazing. She was everything a grandma should be. You want ice cream for lunch, she’d let you do it.  It hadn’t been 30 minutes after my mom left that I got really sad. I probably started crying, and I told my grandma that I wanted to go home.  So we got in my grandma’s car, and drove home. My mom and sister barely beat us home. I share that story because it’s not being away from family, it’s being away from home.

A couple decades later I had the chance to travel 2 hours from Louisville, KY to Indianapolis, IN and watch my Chiefs play in a playoff game. My friend picked me up early that morning and we went to the game. I had a great time. The Chiefs lost (surprising huh, that they’d lose in the playoffs to the Colts.) We returned that night without incident. And yet, leading up to that trip, that day trip, I was nervous and anxious. I wasn’t sure why, but I didn’t like the idea of leaving my wife & kids at home while I was in another state (even though that state was only a 2 hour trip away.)

This past week I had similar anxiety as I prepared to head to Codestock in Knoxville, TN. I’m here speaking today and tomorrow. I’m not nervous nor anxious about the sessions I lead. But I did have a lot of anxiety leading up to the trip. Then sometime late in the week, I had the realization that by taking this trip, I could be performing an act of worship.

By heading to the airport, getting through TSA, changing planes, driving to the hotel, and then reversing those steps a few days from now I’m confessing that I am not God. There are literally countless items outside of my control just to get to a conference. If I make this trip fretting and fearing the entire time, I’m saying that I don’t think God is in control either. But I know that He is.

This likely isn’t a problem a lot of other people deal with in this way. You might attend and speak at a conference and never have it be an act of worship. But for me, in my state, the fact that I’m at Knoxville, I’m confessing that God is far greater than me. He is so far above and beyond me that at times it is incomprehensible. For me, traveling at a conference to speak is an act of worship because it helps me place myself in the correct position before God. How great can I be, if I get nervous about doing something that thousands or millions of people do every day. God is in control, and I am not.

 


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