The Evolution of a Worshiper (Part I)
Disclaimer: Before I tick anybody off, I don’t think that you have to worship like me. The Bible gives like a gazillion ways we can worship – with tambourines, in silence, with dancing, with lifted hands, in prayer, with loud cries, in meditation, etc… I love ’em all. I want to worship Him in every way possible.
But do you think you have to learn how to worship God? I’m not sure, but I felt a little like that as a new follower of Christ. I didn’t quite know how to express my awe of Him, how to communicate my adoration for Him. Initially, I cried a lot. When I would experience Him afresh, or hear from Him, or sense His presence, I would cry. I worshiped with tears because it was all so new (and to be honest, so supernatural) that I just melted, walked around in a puddle every Sunday after church.
Then, as I became more accustomed to encountering Him, I learned how to talk to Him and how to interact with Him through His Word. We began a real conversation, and I learned how to praise Him through prayer (praying the Psalms was great practice when I couldn’t think of my own words) and how to hear from Him through Scripture.
After we had a few years under our belt, I discovered how to be open to allowing music to take me to a place of worship – how to close my eyes, listen intently, and allow the lyrics to become my prayer. I still worship in all of these ways, but this is probably my favorite because I love me some tunes.
But I noticed as I sang in worship in the car and at church and sometimes even at home, I felt I had to consciously think about my hands, arms, legs, and feet because they were getting into this thing too, and if I didn’t keep a watchful eye on ’em, they were definitely going to embarrass me in public. So, I became a closet singing/dancing/crying/praying worshiper. I would go into my bedroom at night (while Chris watched TV); I would close the door, cut out all the lights (I didn’t want to see myself either) and really pour myself out to Him.
That was about the same time that I began to try out different postures of prayer. I was ready to break free of the notion that prayer HAD to be head bowed, hands folded, eyes closed. I began to worship on my knees, completely prostrate on the floor, in a ball on the floor (like how you do in leap frog when someone is leaping over you), and standing with both arms lifted to Him. I still worship in all of those ways and have found it very meaningful to seek a posture of humility, of praise, of submission, etc…, as I approach Him.
Now, I feel pretty free to be publicly demonstrative in worship. I do try not to wig you out if we are in the same row together at church, but I also try to close my eyes and focus only on HIM, adoring HIM.
Disclaimer #2: What I do with my body when I worship means nothing. Worship occurs in my heart and in my mind. I have just tried different ways to arrive at a place of total concentration on Him.
Don’t know why I wanted to share this except that I think it’s pretty interesting how a girl very uncomfortable with demonstrative worshippers in church actually became one.
Disclaimer #3: Where I worship can and should be anywhere. In fact, I had one of my favorite worship experiences today at the gym. Stay tuned for that experience and a few of my other faves. As far as I remember right now, only one of them actually occurred in a church. Until then…