Why I don't worship with my hands in the air (but I'm working on it)

It was last Sunday, and as usual, I wandered around the church building making sure everyone had the chance to say hello to me.

Because for some reason, I just feel people might think their Sunday worship incomplete if they don't get personal face time with me.  I go home and list all the names in my head of people who might think I'm rude or that I don't care.

Seriously, while I am sitting in the building listening to the sermon, I often map out my rounds in my head. First, I will turn to my right and make a joke to Ron about not yet having my coffee, and then pivot to the left to visit with Janie, Shelly, and Amber. Then I will move up the aisle to catch Angie and Jodi before they leave, and chat with my mother-in-law until both our husbands tell us they're leaving.

These people are my friends. They are family.  They are friends who became family. Sometimes, though, I forget that they are at church to worship God. Not that they don't want to talk to me, but it probably won't ruin their Sunday if they don't get to hear about how Logan left his shoe in the creek again before church. 

In fact, sometimes I worry I am there to socialize more than worship. Because I will openly admit, I am not good at public worship.

But I have trouble letting go in public. Even in my home church, where the pews are filled with people I genuinely love, I struggle to raise my hands or shout. Mostly because I am too self-aware.

Plus, my brain is not right. It races with the intensity of a ricocheting squirrel on caffeine, so if I do get especially into a moment or a song, and my hands shoot into the air at church, I snap right back into crazy-brain mode right away.

Oh man. Now they're up there. Everyone can see them. How long are they supposed to be there?  Is it too soon to put them back down because they're kinda starting to shake and burn. I really gotta start working out more. 

Then while they're up there, I give them a little sniff--because why not check? 

Now, friends, please don't get offended.  I know this isn't the right way to worship. 

And no. 

It's not my preacher's fault. He is amazing.  From pew jumping evangelists to reserved head-bowing prayer, I struggle to focus on worship in any congregation.  It's not a problem with the congregation either. Those people are family, and have gotten me through my hardest times and seen me at my worst.

It's me. It's who I am. It's about my mind being set on the wrong things. But it's also what God and I are working on together.

In the night, I will often head outside and talk to God under the stars, or I steal away during the day into my bedroom and kneel at the foot of my bed. There I raise my hands. I sing to Him. I cry unabashedly totally unafraid of what anyone will think.

Those are the moments I truly get lost in, as a soft breeze hits my face, and my heart fills with His glory. He lets me know He is there. He lets me know He is listening.

Going to church doesn't define my relationship with God, but the Bible talks about how important it is for growth. (And for people who physically can't go to church. Church isn't a building. He sees you worshiping wherever you are).

But for me, He knows I need work in this area. Will my hands get more air time?  Maybe, but that's really not my point. It's about doing whatever He asks me to, and for the right reason.

If He instructs me to head to the alter. 

If He asks me to lead a song.

If He asks me to quietly hang on each word of the message.

If He tells me throw those babies in the air and dance around like I just don't care.

Well, we are working on it. God and Me. 

Starting tomorrow.

Meg DuncanComment