You Can Dance

One of the things I’m learning as I walk out this journey is that I am really not alone.  Oh, I feel alone a lot of the time, but I’m really not.

When I am struggling, in the thousands that make up my church, others are struggling too.  When I am fearful, in the people that make up the staff of my church, there are those who are fearful too.  When I am sad, defeated, broken by pride and shame, my family is sad, defeated, broken too.

And when I don’t know what God is saying, where He is leading me, others are questioning too.

Yesterday, I heard one of our great leaders express this.  We know something is coming.  We know God has great plans for us, individually and corporately.  We just aren’t seeing it.  God isn’t answering our questions right now.

So what do we do?

Admittedly, I tend to start answering my own questions.  “I should do this or that.”  I get angry at the vacuum, depressed because I am unseen.  I build walls and protect.

God suggested a new tactic as I talked this over with Him.

“You can dance.”

It would be easy for me to tell you what that means.  But I think it really means different things for different people.  So rather than explain myself.

I’m just going to dance.

Love you guys!

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Dance, Dance

Why do we lift our hands in worship?  Why do we sway to a waltz and tap our feet to the beat of a drum?  Why do we clap our hands and stand in appreciation of a performance, a person?

I come to worship, at times, with a heavy heart.  Troubles often seem to surround me and the last thing I want to do is lift my hands. When I was younger, I thought it was fake to sing and praise when there was nothing inside.  I thought God would appreciate my honesty with Him.  Maybe He did.

I think He appreciates a yielded heart more.  I think He looks on my heart and sees me lift my hands.  He knows my circumstances and my worries and takes note that I pursue Him.

There is a physical aspect of worship, a discipline of doing what needs to be done, that positions us to hear, to receive, to obey.  And God honors that.  We want the emotion, the high of sensing His presence, of knowing His goodness.  But, this often comes on the heels of submitting our wills, our intellect, our reason and our hope to Him.

In some churches, raised hands are considered inappropriate, clapping hands are not seen as reverent.  I find the opposite true in my own life.  I can feel my heart so broken and weighted, and, in the act of dancing or pointing to Him, feel the weight lifted, the healing begin.  In the act of raising my hands, I sense my soul becoming still.  “Be still and know that He is God,” doesn’t necessarily refer to being physically still, but an inward stillness.

I am older, not skinny, a ridiculously uncoordinated, goofy, little man.  And if I am seen as undignified, I will stand with king David and say, “I’ll become even more undignified than this…,” FOR HIM!

Retirement

Just when I think I’m getting over myself, I get hit with something else.  I’m reading in Leviticus and saw today that it was a stipulation for Priests serving in the Temple to retire by age fifty.  What, that’s ridiculous!  My inner response was incredulous, but deep down, it was fearful of God asking that of me.  Do you want me to “retire”, to not lead anymore, to not play or worship?

Understand, if God ever asks that of me, I would totally know why.  I’ve been a mess and remain a mess.

In that moment of fear, I felt His hand on me, “no son, not yet.”  

I don’t know about you.  But, if I’m eighty and can still play and dance and sing, that’s what I want to be doing.  I want people to see me on stage and know that my love for God went beyond looking cool, being a star, trying to get the girls.  And yes, all you worship leaders out there, we’ve all had some mixture of those motivations over the years, secret’s out.  When all that is laid aside, when those dreams and desires are gone and burned up, I want people to see that I, at the core of my being, was completely, certifiably, irreversibly insane for my Jesus.  I want them to know that His sacrifice is what I live for, His mission is my calling, His love is what I share.

I’m fifty-one.  And just getting started!

In Faith

I am struggling right now with knowing how to be responsible, take care of my family, and yet be a man of faith.  How do you leap off a cliff, trusting Jesus to catch you when it isn’t just you that dies if He says no?

I don’t believe that He will honor foolishness.  No wait, that’s not true.  He honors foolishness where He is concerned.  Doesn’t the bible say that He will use our foolishness to shame the wise?  Well, I guess to be more precise, it says that He will use what seems foolish to the world to shame the wise.  But then that brings us back to me being willing to act on what seems like foolishness.  Does it need to be acceptable to me for me to trust that God will enter in?  That seems backwards.  I should act on what God directs and know that He is in it.  I accept it because He has made His will apparent.

Ah, but there’s the rub, I’ve heard myself and many others calling something God’s will when it was only my own, their own will.

I love music.  I love to worship.  Is my desire to be a worship pastor something that I should act on?  Is it God’s will or is it mine?  I want it so badly that it clouds my reasoning.  God is using me in worship ministry right now.  I sing and dance and play for my church and find so much joy in it.  Why do I need to do it full time?  Why do I need to be paid to do it?  Is it God’s calling on my life to quit my job and seek to be full time in ministry?

There are two sides to my writing.  I figure things out as I write and I hope that it helps others figure things out too.  People have different callings, different purposes for their lives, different questions that they ask themselves.  My hope and prayer is that in me asking and talking that we will all come to see God for who He really is.  It is my dream that we would all go forward as people of faith, people that are confident in the goodness of God, the kindness of our Savior.

I don’t have the answers.

I do have my King.

Maybe the question is really, will I trust Him to get me where He wants me to be?  Do I believe that He is strong enough to move me and loving enough to want to get me there?

YES!  YES HE IS!!