I was scanning through the radio stations this morning on my way to work, I channel surf the radio the entire time it’s on, but I came across this song by Lorde called Team. In that song is the lyric “I’m kind of over gettin’ told to throw my hands up in the air. So there.” I’m sure you’ve heard this in songs since the dawn of rap/hip-hop…throw your hands in the air and wave em like you just don’t care…and then usually the song goes on to list a slew of other things you can do if you just don’t care. Kind of like a musical Simon says. Anyway, this got me to thinking that while I am with Lorde and getting tired of being told where to throw my hands I also was thinking about how we praise and worship God. How I praise and worship God. Let’s not dilute the waters by making general statements here. This is all about me.
I have always wished I could worship with reckless abandon like I see so many others doing. Now, I do think some people are just showing off but there are times I have been so full of the spirit I wanted to take off running around the building as fast as I can, maybe even clearing a pew or two like an Olympic hurdler, though neither running nor hurdling has ever been a successful venture for me. There have been times when I just wanted to simply raise my hands but never did because it felt weird. If I have to be brutally honest, it felt weird because I didn’t want anyone to think I was one of those pew hurdling Bible thumping Pentecostal types. Not that I think there’s anything wrong with that but it just aint me. Well, I do also worry about pit stains. Anyway… It took me years to work my way up to just closing my eyes and crying but I didn’t want to stop there. I wanted to raise my hands, I wanted God to see me full on receiving his love but I just never could do it. Until now.
A couple of weeks ago I attended a women’s Tres Dias event and let me tell you, I had a come to Jesus moment. About a hundred of them. If God can hang on the cross and die a brutal death and be separated from his father just for lil ol me then surely I could get my hand out of my pocket during worship services once in a while right? Why was that such a struggle for me? Why did it take being in a room full of people lifting their hands and praising Jesus before I could even consider it? Even then it still took me a long time to actually do it but when I finally did it was like a dam had broke. I finally surrendered. But the question is, am I ashamed of my experience with Jesus? This is what was, and in some areas still is, holding me back from real worship with Christ. As we stood in the chapel and sang that last day I finally was able to throw my hands in air like I didn’t care. I didn’t care who was watching, I didn’t care what they were thinking. That moment was between me and the Lord. The real Lord, the risen savior, Yahweh.
Luke 9:26 says, “Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” Mark 8:38 says the same thing. Likewise, Matthew 10:32 says “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.”
This is not intended to cast judgment on people who don’t raise their hands in worship. Some people aren’t led to do it and that’s fine. My problem was I WAS led to do it and I didn’t. I wanted to but I cared too much about how silly I would look (and pit stains) instead of caring that I was doing what He wanted me to. I’m still not real comfortable with it but I will get over that. I’m sure spikes in the wrist aren’t real comfortable either, know what I’m saying?