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April 3, 2008

Better is One Day (a Chris Tomlin song):
How lovely is Your dwelling place, oh Lord Almighty,
For my soul longs and even faints for You
Oh, here my heart is satisfied within Your presence
I sing beneath the shadow of Your wings

Better is one day in Your courts
Better is one day in Your house
Better is one day in Your courts
Than thousands elsewhere

One thing I ask, and I would seek: to see Your beauty
To find You in the place Your glory dwells
One thing I ask and I would seek: to see Your beauty
To find You in the place Your glory dwells

My heart and flesh cry out
For You, the Living God
Your Spirit’s water to my soul
I’ve tasted, and I’ve seen
Come once again to me
I will draw near to You

I am not a Chris Tomlin fan. I don’t really know which songs are Chris Tomlin songs. I don’t even really like this song. Because I know – let the record show – that this is a cheesy, old song. It was on it’s way out of the hip Christian music scene three years ago when I was on my way in. And that was three years ago. I know that this is not cool.

The Wednesday Night Worship Duo (I didn’t mean for that to sound so rad, but I went back and capitalized it ’cause it did. Now I’m thinking about the cover of their first release … which would be on colored vinyl, of course.) used this song tonight.

I picked this song for the pre-service worship extravaganza at my wedding (laced with sarcasm … if you were there, you know) too.

I would like to here reiterate that I know this song is lame. I know. It’s an old, boring song. If there are teenagers reading, I promise we will not do this song on a Friday night.

But the worship team at the church I was at the night I received the Holy Spirit and really got slapped upside the head by God, also used this song. And for some reason – musical muscle memory perhaps – it is ingrained in my spirit.

Because I can very clearly remember standing in the third row from the back, just right of the center isle (just in front of the elevated sound booth with the ugly brown fabric), when they did this song. And everyone was really into it, although I’m sure there were a few who knew it was cheesy then too.

A couple hundred people stood around the room in various bodily positions of worship and declared God’s glory and I – “Christian” for all of probably five or six days – stood there thinking, “a thousand? Really?” I was sure it was nothing more than (bad) poetry because the “courts” are usually outside the place everyone really wants to be anyway, and one day compared to a thousand … I mean a thousand. That’s almost three years.

Not to mention “elsewhere” is pretty broad – you’re telling me that one day outside the pearly gates is better than three years in, say, Grand Camen? Fiji? All expenses paid? Four-star luxury suit? One day in God’s yard is better than that?

I suppose I sound sarcastic now, but I wasn’t then. I was genuinely wondering if this thing I’d signed up for was that good at the end of the rainbow. And I can very clearly remember the first time the One on the throne spoke clearly to my unassuming, curious heart because all He said was “Yes” and I was there.

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