A few weeks ago I was leading worship at my church’s 11:00am service when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. It was my almost-three-year-old daughter, Megan, dancing to the music, with her arms in the air, her eyes closed, and a huge smile on her face. I don’t get choked up that often during worship, but this did it to me. It was a beautifully sweet thing to see.
She’s still too young to have gotten all self-conscious. Yet. Some day she will, sadly, and won’t feel comfortable doing this. One of my prayers for her is that she grows up to be a worshipper, and I hope she’ll still dance, but at some point she’ll get self-conscious and will learn how to dial back her expression of praise. What a shame.
And she’s also still too young to get judging glances from the congregation. Since she’s still a little girl people think it’s cute and smile at her. If she was a teenager, or a grown woman dancing in the aisles with her hands in the air, she’d get dirty looks. Even I would be tempted to talk to the ushers about how we might “handle” her. And again, what a shame.
It’s no wonder Jesus was drawn to little children. And it’s no wonder he wants us to be like them. They’re not all self-conscious and self-righteous. They’re uninhibited. They get it. They haven’t “learned” how to dial their worship back yet. Children run to Jesus. The mature, grown-up disciples are the ones who do the hindering. Go figure.
Lord, give me a soft heart towards you. Help me not be so self-conscious. Make me more like Megan, with my eyes closed, hands raised, and a smile on my face. Help me unlearn how to dial it back. Help me to worship you and you alone. May my worship be more and more childlike the older I get.
Oh, and please don’t let Megan (and Emma) ever grow up. Thanks.