A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO my husband and I were engaging in “pillow talk”. No … really… pillows and everything! He was telling me about his day and I was listening just long enough for him to take a breath before I began telling him about my day. ha ha. (You know you do it too) He said something to me that was quite poignant. He said, “I miss you”. Well, my flippant reply was, “I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere. You see me everyday”. And he repeated, “ I miss YOU”. He didn’t really elaborate, but I could tell that it was a serious statement that I was not willing at that moment to explore further.
The next morning I went into the kitchen to start my “I must loose 25 pounds in the next 5 months” forage for breakfast and on my way booted up my lap top to put on some music. As I was contemplating what to eat, I did a quick google search for worship services and prayer meetings. I mean…. Isn’t that what you search for at 6am weekday mornings when you have set your mind to do everything you can to keep away from the things of God?…….
Yeah, that’s what I said too.
I found a website that had a “prerecorded” prayer/worship service that I could watch. I opened it up and turned up the volume and went about my cooking and cleaning duties. Exactly 47 minutes later, I came back into the room and heard the music. It annoyed me. I’m just being honest. I began the arduous task of figuring out how to turn off the volume and stop the playback. In doing so, I noticed on the video a woman dressed in tennis shoes, her hair was a mess, she was wearing yoga pants, a t-shirt and NO makeup. Grrrrrr. I mean, Really? Who would allow themselves to be videotaped for all the world to see dressed like that, AND with no makeup? I could see the t-shirt part, but un-coiffed and no lip gloss or mascara? Unacceptable by anyone’s standards, I say!!!! My Gosh! What kind of madness IS this???? I couldn’t find the stop button quick enough! The musician was obviously attempting to get the crowd riled up, what with his fancy, repetitious chords and his catchy chorus. “And I Say to the NORTH, GIVE THEM UP!!! And I say to the East, GIVE THEM UP!!! And I say….” You get the drift. The crazy woman in tennis shoes had begun dancing to the music and throwing her arms to the directions as the people sang and the piano music played louder and louder. As she came back around to the “North” chorus, she threw her hands out toward the North and then dramatically mimed pulling the people back toward her. As she did this, my heart was instantly pierced! I felt the Presence of God all over me. My heart was pounding in my chest and I was totally convicted of my hardhearted-ness and my judgmental-ness. I began seeing my self and my heart and my attitude in a different light. That’s Not good. No, not good at all! I mean, come ON! This woman is dancing around, swinging her arms this way and that, drawing imaginary people back to God…. And… And…. And…. IT WAS PRERECORDED FROM THE DAY BEFORE! Can God even use a prerecorded tape of worship that had happened the day before to reach into my heart when I was alone in my kitchen trying to find the stop button? Short answer: You bet’cha!
“The Word of the LORD is a Lamp unto my feet and a LIGHT unto my Path”. Psalm 119:105
When the Light of His Word shines on us, our ways are exposed. Our path is illuminated. I didn’t like it one bit because the path my feet had been walking on was not the Ancient Path that we know of from Jeremiah:
Jeremiah 6:16 “Thus says the LORD: Stand in the ways, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where is the Good Way, and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, we will not go”!
My recent path had been one of hurt and disappointment. I had shut myself off from feeling things because I was in a “protective” turtle-tucking-its-head-into-its-shell phase. But that woman with the tennis shoes, she wasn’t hiding. She was openly being obedient to God. She was worshiping with her whole heart, just like Miriam did! She was dancing before the LORD- not to please me, not to please the people watching through video feed, but to please HIM. And what she was doing WAS pleasing the LORD! God didn’t reject her gift of worship because she wasn’t wearing makeup or she had on white tennis shoes with a black outfit, or her yoga pants were too tight. God approved because she was offering the sweet savor of worship to Him. And that fragrance, and that gift, well, it rocked me to my foundation. It was beautiful. I wept and wept. I repented. I wept some more. I realized that I didn’t want to be one of those who said, “we will not go”. I wanted to walk the Ancient Path… even if it meant doing it without make up or hair spray. (Did I really just say that)? I guess what pleases God is just a bit different than what is pleasing to us, especially when we are off on our own path.
The next morning I told my husband of my experience. He and I both cried. He said to me, “I have missed YOU so much. The you that is so excited about the ways of God, the YOU that wakes up in the night to pray and worship. That is the YOU that has been absent”. What a sweet man. He had been praying for me. He wanted me to be one of those who say “yes”.
I pray that today, I might be that crazy woman in tennis shoes, dancing before the LORD- for you. I may not be offering you what will be the most appealing to you, but I offer you my story. Life is hard at times. And we can easily lose our way. It just takes a short time before we withdraw from God, even without knowing it. Its “self preservation” or so we tell ourselves. But today, I am here… throwing my arms up and miming, dancing and singing! Today I am putting it all out there because I believe that in doing so it is my service unto the LORD. Don’t continue to be withdrawn from His Presence. I am crying out to the LORD with all my heart that He will draw all of His children from the North, the South, the East and the West. If He can soften MY heart and change My attitude, then He can do the same for anyone else who is lonely and tired of walking a path that isn’t His Ancient Way.
Isn’t God good? Even when we aren’t expecting it or asking for it, or looking for it…. Here comes some crazy woman in tennis shoes!
Watch out for the crazy woman in tennis shoes….