So confession, on the way to worship last night, I was super not up for being there. I’d been sick this week, I was tired, I wanted to veg out in front of the TV…but I was on to lead tonight alongside a guitarist friend, and had already cried off a few responsibilities this week, so knew I had to stick uit (a useful Afrikaans phrase meaning to show up). Driving to Manenberg, I was immediately confronted with the most phenomenal pink and yellow sky. The sky is my favourite bit of creation (well, except people, mostly…) so I usually do notice it, but it made me take note, turn my radio off, and talk to God rather than mindlessly passing the next half hour in traffic. I told him I was ready to be present, I wanted to go deeper, and I would press in, despite my pooped-ness.
Enter the most chilled worship vibes ever.
Now I know that some of us were struggling with the quiet, used to being surrounded by noise, voices, TV, music…someone creating our worship experience for us through pumping out the jams that make us feel good, or giving us the right words to say…don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of dancing in my worship, and a Bethel worship album like the next person…but as I was in that space last night, asking God whether I needed to step in to help people know how to press in, to create more energy, if I’m honest, God was like, no…Why are you afraid of being quiet with me?
And why are we so afraid of the silence? Well, I guess because in that moment it can go one of two ways:
Oh…this is so beautiful, your presence is so sweet, I can feel you, I feel known by you, I hear your voice!
Jeesh, it’s quiet…I don’t really know what to say, this is kinda awkward, do I even know you?
The silence reveals the truth, we have no one putting words in our mouths, no one creating a vibe for us to feel something, just the vulnerability of us standing before God in a moment of intimacy, or perhaps, realising we are strangers. There are times when we definitely need the help of being led into God’s presence, encountering new parts of who She is, enjoying the good feeling of bopping around with others, but we have to be able to meet Her in the still, secret place of our hearts.
Once I got over the fact that everyone wasn’t necessarily having the most fun time ever (because obviously that’s my responsibility..haha), and stepped in to being still with my best friend, I went deeper with Her than I had in a long while. I was reflecting on what it means to have Christ living within us, at our centre. You see one of things I’m learning with having this little baby grow inside of me [most of you reading this will know this already, but for those who don’t, ummm surprise!] is that everything I do, everything I’m eating, how I’m spending my money, the way I use my body, the things I’m speaking, my emotions, are centred on wanting to honour this precious little one living in me. And yet, Christ lives in us. Like a little living person, she is our centre, and so all of our choices and words and thoughts and actions should be influenced by that, wanting to honour the life that is within.
Where is She not my centre? I sat with this question as I drove home and got angry at a driver, and at my husband and at myself for letting stupid things rob me of this revelation..so I guess My reactions might be a place Jesus doesn’t have centre place. Good to know, I’ll start there.
In the secret, in the quiet place, in the stillness you are there…Jesus be my centre.
[Just on the She thing…for those who are wondering. Those of you who know me well know I’m fairly passionate about the voice and equality of women, including how we engage with the person of God. God’s not a dude right, we know that, not a women either, but there’s definitely a lot of male pronouns in my vocabulary towards God, and I’m trying to be a bit more intentional about changing that over (I know feminist friends, I am so late to that party but bear with…). Also, as I am becoming a mum, I’m understanding God waaaay more as mother and learning about the fiery, gentle, powerful, protective nature of God…which I totally resonate with]