And David danced before the Lord with all his might . . . 2 Sam 6:1
As I sang in church this past Sunday morning, I longed to dance, move, raise my hands in worship. I envied those who do (side note: while our church is pretty edgy when it comes to music, no one dances and very few people raise their hands). My thoughts drifted to dancing in Africa – not some esoteric interpretive dance, although certainly that’s fine for some I suppose, but outright dancing with joy in his courts. And in a flash I thought, what would our African brothers and sisters think if they came to our service this morning and worshiped with us? Would they question if we really meant what we were singing? If God evoked any emotion in us when we sang about him, to him?
And in my mind I asked them: Why do you dance?
The answer came immediately and with force: Why do you not?
The burden of proof is on me. The reasons I don’t dance are far more telling about my relationship with him than their reasons for dancing. I’m afraid of what people will think. We just don’t dance in our culture or our church. I would feel awkward and silly. But the fact that those thoughts can run through my brain while I am singing shows that I’m not truly focusing on worshiping him through song anyway. And if dancing is the way I want to express my joy and delight for who he is, how is it that the opinion of others carries more importance to me?
Just as I was trying to process why I didn’t dance, the next question hit me: Is your worship too safe?
I’ve just started a book called Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson, and in it the author challenges us in the first chapter to be dangerous. He says:
. . . we (the church) try to tame them (people) in the name of Christ. We try to remove the risk. We try to remove the danger. We try to remove the struggle. And what we end up with is caged Christian. . . and the cage opens when we recognize that Jesus didn’t die on the cross to keep us safe. Jesus died to make us dangerous.
Have I allowed myself to become caged? A confined soul that longs to dance – was created to dance – before her King with all her might, yet doesn’t feel free to do so because the safety of the cage is more appealing?
So I’m thinking about all of these things and discovering where I’ve settled for safety (although as a friend likes to say, safety is an illusion).
So what keeps you from dancing*?
*Okay, I know dancing isn’t for everyone, but you get the point right? What is keeping you from uninhibited worship of the King – even within your community?