I have a confession.... I envy people who can shut the world out and have their moment with God there in the church service. I believe that I suffer from Stiff Worship Syndrome (SWS)!
You see, I grew up in a very conservative church in Ohio where we sat in pews and held hymnals. In fact, the boldest thing that would ever happen during a service was when my grandpa would yell out "AMEN!" whenever the Spirit moved him! (He tended to startle folks!) My arms had been trained from an early age to hold a hymnal... (Ever had hymnal-holding elbow? It's a common affliction after the 5th verse!)
Fast-forward to 1994-William & I are married and living in the Baptist state of Georgia... Occasionally, we used a hymnal, but we began singing lyrics that had been projected onto screens. What to do with the arms? Well, my solution was to hold on to the back of the chair in front of me. If I was dressed properly for the time in my dress, pumps, & hose, it helped me to keep my balance especially when I shut my eyes to pray. Over the years, I've worked on loosening my grip!
|This is what I look like on the inside when I worship!|
Later when we started going to the "Rock-N-Roll" church as I affectionately call it, we commonly saw people raising their hands and shutting their eyes in worship. Nothing too crazy. I began heel tapping and closed my eyes when I really got into it.
Recently on our church search, we're seeing more physical acts of worship -bouncing, dancing, kneeling, all of the above with the arms raised up. People are even shouting "Hallelujah!" I think it's great, and it doesn't really matter what I think since the worshipers aren't doing it for me, but like I said, my arms are stuck down. It's not that my heart isn't into it. (See photo!)
Sometimes, I can make my arms flip over so that my palms face up. :-)
Do you suffer from SWS, or do you get your worship on?
Psalm 100:1-3 (NIV)
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.