Tuesday, January 19, 2016

All of my being

I once was at a church service and the band was playing and people were really into the music.  In front of my was a mentally ill woman (I knew her personally).  She was singing with all her might, right hand raised to heaven in worship and her left hand...holding a book she was actively reading. Yes, she was reading some book while she was singing during the worship service of the charismatic church I attended. The book, if I recall correctly, was a religious book and not some romance novel or something. I remember at the time thinking, "What they heck?!"

That image has always stuck with me mostly as an object lesson of what I didn't want people to see when they saw me worshiping God. I have a few of these "object lessons" in my repertoire and I pull them out every once in a while to judge others or to prevent me from going over some imagined "edge".  If you are thinking that I am a very sad person, I would agree.

But today I had a different thought. I am not saying I would recommend reading during worship, but I do know what it is like to want to worship God with everything I have.  My heart, mind, soul and strength.  There has been a few occasions where I found myself worshiping God during the church service and wanting to jump up and down and clap and read some psalm that just popped into my head and call someone on the phone and tell them what a Great and Wonderful God I am worshiping. But then the image of the crazy worshiping lady comes to my mind and I keep my hands down and keep my Bible closed, I lower my voice and I put my phone on vibrate.  Because no one worships that way or people will talk.

Before you say anything let me say that I believe there is an order to things and just because we want to do something doesn't mean we should. The Bible is full of examples where God said to do 1, 2 and 3 and exactly in that order when worshiping him. So there is nothing wrong with insisting an order be followed when worshiping God both publicly and privately.  BUT sometimes worshiping the living, loving, all powerful, all knowing, scary God of the Universe who sent his Son to live, die and arise in my place induces a desire to involve the whole being in worship.  And there is nothing wrong with that, is there?

Maybe I'll start looking upon that mental image of the crazy worshiping lady with a bit of fondness. What she was doing may not have been "proper" but, for her, it couldn't be helped, and I certainly can understand why.

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