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From ABCs to PhDs: A Day in the Life of a Worship Arts Student
Jamison Dick is studying worship arts at Columbia Bible College in Abbotsford, B.C. The realization that God is in all things has had a big impact on him.

I walk across the wet parking lot of the Columbia campus, listening to the rain slither down the gym walls and onto the sidewalk beside my path. Today’s events have weathered me – to look back on a day and see how God has changed you from the first moment of waking to the first moment of sleep can be terrifying and wonderful all at the same time.

Worship isn’t an event, it’s a relationship: Jamison Dick.

I woke up this morning to the sound of a bad country song playing. My roommates were awake and the kitchen was alive with the buzz of coffee and the work ahead. I left the apartment in a rush to make it to class. As I walked, I prayed: “What do You want me to hear today? What do You want to teach me today?”

Though I was still in a foggy haze of morning, the “aha!” moments that come along with philosophy of worship class woke me up for good. One of the big insights came when looking at the dualism that exists in the Church these days: the split between the sacred and the secular specifically. To realize that God exists in all things, even though some people want to compartmentalize God into their own parameters, was pretty impacting to me.

After class I made my way to the cafeteria for some coffee and then to “the big windows” (an area of campus that I have designated as the most beautiful and necessary part of life here) where I sat on a couch and overlooked the changing of the seasons outside. Jordan ran into me and we talked about the importance of “letting go.”

I shared how, when I was in Europe for the global semester last year, I went with the intention of being open to whatever God had to teach me.

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I hoped God would take control and steer me into some beautiful new directions. This is difficult for me and I continue to be a poster child for relativism. At that moment I realize how selfish and broken I am and, once again, I am brought to an immense thankfulness for God’s grace.

I need those moments. They keep me focused. My intentions in studying worship arts aren’t necessarily for the obvious reasons. I’m still not sure if the vocation of a worship leader is where I’m being called. This gives me a different state of mind in my classes: I’m not necessarily looking at how what I’m learning can be applied in a traditional church setting (though I do realize the importance of that) but how what I’m learning can be applied in my day-to-day life. Or in other words, how I am worshipping God in my everyday actions.

The afternoon escaped the day’s frame in an instant and, before I knew it, I found myself at dusk, back at the big windows, writing. I thought back to the morning when I dialogued about the idea of letting go. I wrote in my   notebook: “God, what do I need to let go of?” Nine o’clock rolled around and I made my way to the chapel for the school’s Tuesday night worship service.

As they waited for the doors to open, the crowd outside buzzed in anticipation. I wonder if they realize God is also out here in the foyer?

I made small talk with Ryan, discussing whether or not this would be a good weekend to head into Vancouver. The doors to the chapel opened. The crowd flooded into the low-lit sanctuary, searching for places to sit. I meandered through the centre aisle, saying my hellos as I saw those I know. Carla stopped me and asked if there are still people coming over to my place tonight. Erica asked me if I had the new Copeland record yet. Zach hugged me and told me we should get some coffee this week.

This community loves even the most broken and confused. And as I do this minimal socializing, I realize this worship gathering is more than just singing songs. Worship isn’t an event; it’s a relationship.

Originally published in Faith Today, January/February 2009.




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