Friday, March 17, 2017

When Worship feels like a Junior High Dance

Most people can remember attending a dance in Junior High School.  For some they are great memories, but for others the memories consist of standing along the wall, watching others have all the fun.  I can remember all of the extroverts trying to get us introverts out on the dance floor.  The pressure was unbearable.  They simply couldn’t understand that we were introverts, we were completely satisfied with our place on the wall.  We didn’t care if they danced and had a good time, why did they care so much if we chose not to? 

When I was 19, and well out of Junior High, I found myself attending a church.  I may not have been in Junior High any longer, but the pressures felt very familiar.  Instead of the “you can only have fun if you dance” pressures, it was the “you can only have true worship if you dance” pressure.  Once again, there was a group of people that simply couldn’t understand that being an introvert was not a problem that needed to be fixed.  I don’t care if you raise your hands and dance during worship, why do you care if I don’t? Not too long after I was baptized, I found myself wishing that I could experience the same freedom in worship that others had.  I realized that although I was an introvert, it wasn’t the reason I couldn’t enjoy a dance back in Junior High and it also wasn’t the reason I couldn’t fully experience worship.   The truth is, I was incredibly fearful of what others might think.  I was terrified of being judged.  Fighting for my freedom to be an introvert was keeping me from pushing through that fear experiencing the true freedom that comes from worshipping my Savior. 

Today, when I find myself starting to worry about what others may think as I worship, I remind myself of that Junior High girl that never truly experienced a school dance, and I begin to worship with freedom.  I raise my hands, move my feet and sing out words of praise and worship to my Savior.

--Julie Tamez

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