Updated: Jun 2
Written by: Mike Wilson, Co-Founder & CEO of myLIFEspeaks
Listen to the audio/podcast version of this story, here.
Have you ever worshipped outside in the middle of nowhere? I’m not asking if you’ve ever been to an outdoor worship service but I’m asking if you have ever worshipped the One True God in a moment when you find yourself away from everyone in the middle of nothing?
There is a difference and if you’ve never experienced it, I pray you will. One of the things we used to do in Neply when we had visiting teams was a night of musical worship in the sugar cane fields on the west side of the village. Those nights gathered together as a group sitting on blankets and chairs, someone playing guitar, and friends from the commUNITY joining us as we sang and worshiped were some of the most memorable moments I’ve had in Haiti.
I didn’t think things could get much better than that. The sound of Americans singing in English, Haitians singing in Kreyol, the sun setting in colors only God could create, and an occasional cow mooing in the background mixed together to create something I can only describe as a little piece of heaven on earth. I felt like we were collectively worshipping before God Himself.
I thought those moments would always be the most powerful moments of worship I could ever experience, and they did until I found myself walking out into the field by myself one day. On that day I was walking into the fields one afternoon looking for an area where we could shoot a video interview. I remember being frustrated with the heat, the mosquitoes, the muddy ground, and just about everything else. Every time I found a quiet place to set up for the video where we would be away from passing motorcycles and trucks it seemed every cow in the village started to moo.
When the cows quietened down, the roosters seemed to be battling each other to see which one could be the loudest. Finding a quiet place in Haiti seems like it’s impossible. I knew I was 100% overthinking every single thing about the project I was working on but I had a specific way I wanted it to play out. Ever had one of those days? I finally sat down in the mud and took a moment for a quick inventory of my thoughts.
Why was this moment so difficult? Why was I so overwhelmed? The answer came quickly and quietly to my mind. I was making this all about me and in that moment I was the only one who could make this video “perfect.” I remember I actually laughed out loud at that thought. I was sitting in a muddy field, in the heat, with mosquitoes all around me laughing at myself, I’m sure this was a sight to see.
"I was sitting in the middle of a field full of cows asking for silence."
I was sitting in the middle of a field full of cows asking for silence. In that moment, I lifted my head towards the sky, closed my eyes, and silently asked God to help clear my head and my heart. It wasn’t a deep prayer and it wasn’t something that would earn me five stars on any human review but it was from my heart. I needed God to clear my thoughts out and give me His. In my frustration and perceived hopelessness, I was immediately reminded of Psalm 46:10 (He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”) and I knew the noise of my external and internal worlds had loudly done their best to drown out the peaceful calm of the Spirit of God.
I quietly bowed my head and began to ask God to calm and still my mind, my body, and my Spirit, and then I sat there. I sat in that moment of internal quiet and stillness and I worshipped my creator. I didn’t have a guitar or a piano; I didn’t sing at the top of my lungs, and I was covered in mud and sweat, but in that moment I worshipped God by simply turning everything I was concerned about over to Him.
I asked Him for His wisdom and calm to strengthen my weakness. I cried at the thought of God’s holiness being available to me in that moment of my physical and spiritual filth. This was one of the most overwhelming moments of my LIFE and I almost missed it because my focus was on the external problems and I wasn’t being quiet and still in my spirit.
"I cried at the thought of God’s holiness being available to me in that moment of my physical and spiritual filth. This was one of the most overwhelming moments of my LIFE and I almost missed it because my focus was on the external problems..."
Maybe you need to quieten your own heart today.
All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. 10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. 11 Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. 12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. 13 For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead.