Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Meditations: Whining

Sometimes I believe that Christians can be such whiners. There I said it. We claim to be people filled with the power of God’s Spirit, but our behavior often contradicts that. And don’t think I’m excusing myself. I’m not. I’m a whiner, too.

For instance, I’m a worship whiner. I love to worship and sing. One of my favorite things to do is to get lost in the music of worship. I’m very opinionated about what good corporate worship is and what’s not. If you want to get me whining, have me experience some worship that doesn’t connect me to God and allow me to bask in His presence. That makes me very unhappy and it’s not pretty when I get into my worship-whining mode.

Sad to say, I’ve been in one of those moods lately. I’ve experienced eclectic forms of worship in the past couple of years. I’ve seen everything from rocked out verses, to contemporary R&B sounding verses with dance moves, to traditional black church worship. Despite this, I’ve been whining.

The whining continued in a recent service I attended. I tried to engage the Lord through a fabricated Hillsong-like worship but it wasn’t working. Upsetting since I really enjoy Hillsong but I was not enjoying this particular unsatisfying re-enactment of it. I started to zone out (don’t look at me funny. You know you do zone out, too) until something else caught my eyes.

I was seated near a signer and group of deaf people. I’ve always wanted to learn sign language so I found myself studying them (and I learned to sign a few new words). The signer moved along with the rhythm of the song, almost like she was dancing. But then I noticed that the deaf people were signing alone with the song…a song they couldn’t hear. Occasionally they would lift their hands in worship right along with the rest of us. They closed their eyes and at times swayed to their own rhythms.

I found myself watching them intently and God began to prick my heart. How many times had I complained about not being able to “get into” worship because of something I didn’t like? Many times, sad to admit. But, watching the deaf people sign, clap and worship to a song they couldn’t here, what was my excuse? I can hear music and I pout. They can’t hear music and they worship.

Thank God for grace because He could have hit the mute button on my ears long ago. He could have, but He extended grace and allowed me to hear, a gift that I’m grateful to have. However, that doesn’t give me the right to whine. I love God and my worship, musical or otherwise, should be focused on Him. I need to stop focusing on what’s not right with worship. I believe that God is trying to teach me to press through my perceived limitations and connect with Him.

How about you? What are you whining about? What obstacles have you put up that’s keeping your from connecting with God and are they that serious? Take a good look at your whining and see if it’s legitimate. If not, you’re just being a baby.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful insight. The Lord was really speaking to you and you were listening. Don’t you love it when that happens? I could learn a thing or two in the area of whining about the lack of transparent Christians I meet. I’m happy to say, you’re sharing revealed you beautifully.

Terri J. Haynes said...

Thanks, Ginny. I think we can all learn a thing or two about whining. It's so easy to fall into that trap. But God loves us too much to let us stay there, even if He has to give us a good head-knocking to get us out.