Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by episodes of an elevated mood known as mania, usually alternating with episodes of depression.
Worship leaders, worshipers in general, tend toward a spiritual bipolar disorder. We seek the high of the presence of the Lord, the rush of His power as we lift up His name, the joy that overwhelms us as the congregation is broken and healed, hands lifted, tears flowing.
And then, we walk out the doors. We climb in our cars and go home. We fight with our spouses and isolate ourselves from our children. We turn to our instruments for comfort, for solace. We look at our bank accounts, our jobs, our bills and do the math. We go through the motions of quiet time and study. And never, never feel fulfilled.
So we seek the next high. Concerts, CDs, Youtube, a new job, a new high.
Life can be so difficult. And, the medical world would seek to level those moods, shorten the swings from mania to depression.
I would question, within myself, in everything I do, I would question myself as to what is causing those swings. What is the scaffolding that holds up the pendulum?
Do I feel a rush as I see myself praised for skills, for passion, for service? Do I hear the words of affirmation and pin them on me? Do I look to salve my wounds, my bruises, my hurts? Do I wish them removed, uncleansed, untreated, unhealed? Do I want my life more comfortable, more at ease?
Or do I simply need more Jesus?
The crash of waves that surround the holy moments of worship, in prayer, in song, are a normal result of our encounters with God. Can you imagine meeting with the King of the Universe and being unmoved? Can we hope to rest on the pinnacle of His touch on our lives with no opportunity to need Him again? That would not be natural, not living.
The former leads only to hurt, for the structures that uphold it disintegrate beneath the weight of Him. But if He holds it up, being the trussing, the lights and the sound within us, the fall will come, the waves will crash…
and we will stand.