My wife, Shirley, has brand-new clothes she seems to be saving for a special day. Some she has been saving for quite a while. Clothes still sealed in the plastic wrap. Dresses with the price tags hanging from the sleeves. Some were gifts; others were bargains she just couldn’t pass up. All of them are waiting for a special-enough kind of day.
I must admit she brings me home shirts, shorts, pants and bargains. I wear them when I go out and I appreciate her doing that. But, you know, I have some old stuff I just love to wear. She calls them rags; I call them clothes with character. One is an old Duke sweatshirt that has holes in it and is frayed around the collar and cuffs. It is so worn you can almost see through it. But it is sooooo comfortable and reminds me of my Duke days.
I saw a cartoon on Facebook the other day which asks: One guy asks his friend: Why don’t you get as excited at church as you do here at the football game? The other guy answers: I did once and they asked me not to come back. Why did they do that? I guess they didn’t appreciate me dumping Gatorade on the preacher after the sermon?
I wonder why we hold back? Could it be how we were raised… our religious tradition? I think that may have something to do with it. I do believe that you can worship in quiet dignity as well as hand-clapping, dancing in the aisles worship. But the important thing is that however we praise God… don’t forget to do it without holding back. Give God all you’ve got.
I am reminded of the six-year-old autistic boy attending the symphony for the first time. He had never spoken a word. When the final downbeat ended the concert – in the respectful quietness of the hall we heard that little boy say “WOW!”
O God, help us to experience the wow moments of life where we speak our first words because you have touched our souls. Amen.