Imagine you have been invited over to a friend’s house for dinner, along with a number of other people you know. You decide to join them, hang out for a bit, start to unwind, and then it’s announced that dinner is ready. You think to yourself, “Great! Bring on the grub!” As everyone is gathering around the table, reaching for a plate and staking claim as to where they will sit, you hear “So [insert your name here], would you mind saying the blessing?” Dun dun DUN!!! Sweat instantly forms on your brow, your heartbeat increases ten fold, you can’t even remember your name, much less form a holy sentence! As the blood drains from your face, leaving you stone cold white, as your involuntary breathing mechanics kick in because you were oblivious to holding your breath, you finally squeak out, with complete hesitation, one word… “sure.”
Stop right there… what IS that? What is it within us that makes us more scared than a three-year old asking for someone to check under the bed AND in the closet for monsters?! How is it that we can proudly hold conversations with our family, friends, and even strangers, over the most meaningless things, topics that we shouldn’t even be discussing, and then when it comes time to stand before God in the presence of those people – those very same people that He has blessed our lives with – we become completely stoic, embarrassed and ashamed? What IS that?!
It reminds me that we have no problem whatsoever cheering on our favorite sports team, lifting our hands and shouting at the top of our lungs, giving them all the graces under the sun. Or going to a concert where your favorite band is playing, singing along, jumping up and down and at the end yelling “Bravo!! Bravo!! Encore!! Encore!!!” We support them, follow them online, plan extravagant parties to celebrate with our friends over them, we program our DVRs so we won’t miss out on their next screen time session, and we buy magazines or books with their names and faces splattered from cover to cover. Yet, in our church, in our car, or even having dinner in the presence of our friends, we are so apprehensive to lift our eyes, much less our hands, and say a prayer to God. Are we so arrogant and full of ourselves that we can’t even have a conversation with God, a gesture of thanks for all He has blessed us with? Can we not humble ourselves enough to honor Him with something as simple as bowing our heads and saying “Thank You Father,” to the One who graciously gave His life in order for us to have this life?! This life in which we have the freedoms and privileges to follow our favorite sports teams or bands or whatever else it is that we follow?! What IS that?!
I have a theory….
We are afraid of being judged… judged by the ones who already judge us… yet we don’t give a second thought to the One who is truly our One and only Judge.
We are ashamed… ashamed of how we might look through the eyes of others…yet we pay no mind to the One who bore all of our shame and sees our sins no more.
We have been scarred… scarred by the acts and behaviors of others, and we allow that scar to determine how we walk… all the while choosing not to acknowledge the One whose actions and behaviors took up the cross, walked in our place, and Who was pierced and scarred for our transgressions.
What IS that?! I’ll tell you what it is…. it is wrong.
October 19, 2011