Do you understand the double entendre of the title? I don't know if it really makes sense, but it was an attempt. I'll let you figure it out for now, and I'll explain myself at the end for those of you who are thinking, "What in the world? She tries to be cryptic but makes no sense." Sorry about that.
Recently, I was privileged and blessed to attend YC Alberta 2013 with my beloved youth group. It was an experience I will never forget, and hope to relive next year again! I learned so many lessons, that it's still taking time to let everything sift through. It's been a week, and new memories and lessons keep popping into my head- I'm not done learning!! It's great, really.
One thing that I was reminded of today in church, was a little interesting happening from one of the day sessions. During the worship at the beginning of the workshop, (in a room filled with a few hundred youth and leaders,) all eyes were averted from the words on the screen to one man. I don't know who he was, I didn't recognize him, but for the duration of the worship segment, all eyes followed him, simply because... he danced.
He jumped, he spun, and with no real technique or form, just skipped all around the open area surrounding the stage. He attempted some unsuccessful-looking break-dancing (I think) moves, he tried handstands and donkey kicks, pirouettes and leaps. People pulled out their iPods and phones, and began videoing the dancing man. I could hear murmurings and giggles all around, as the focus was riveted away from the worship, and to the present 'entertainment.' I kinda was laughing, sometimes i whispered to my friends, because basically... it was weird. Or so we thought.
Later that day, the topic of the 'funny dancing man' kept coming up. At first I went along, kind of laughing and agreeing that it was kind of weird. But after a while, I think God was prodding me to stop. And lately, I've been thinking of him often, and learning.
A friend of mine, I was talking to her a bit about him, and she must have been thinking along the same lines as I was. She reminded me about the story in the bible about King David, and how he danced like a madman in full view of everyone.
2 Samuel 6:14-16 ~
Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might,
while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.
As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.
and 2 Samuel 6:20-22~
When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul
came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”
David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord.
I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”
That story was a perfect example and reminder to me. That man was dancing before the Lord. He had his arms raised, he would close his eyes, and at times would just sway back and forth to the music. And looking back, I admire that! At first I thought, "Woah, okay. That's just weird, and embarrassing." But really, I was acting just like Michal.
There is a song we sometimes sing in chapel or at camp. It goes like this:
I will dance, I will sing,
to be mad for my King
Nothing, Lord, is hindering
this passion in my soul!
And I'll become
even more undignified than this!
Some might say it's foolishness,
but I'll become
even more undignified than this!
I would sing that song at the top of my lungs and follow the crazy, extreme, wild actions... with all my other friends. They were doing the same! I thought that I was portraying the perfect picture of being 'undignified' for my King, but who was I kidding? Everyone else was, too!
Dignity-- bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect or appreciation of the formality or gravity of an occasion or situation.
Dignified -- characterized by dignity of manner or appearance
Undignified -- opposite of all the above. Lacking in dignity.
About the double entendre of the title, in case you missed that. Past impressions are the ways people recognize you and label you as. But this anonymous dancer from YC showed me that he was past those impressions. He understood that what people thought of him didn't matter. He knew that the impressions he was making on all these strangers would never, ever, ever compare to the undivided loyalty and commitment and love He expressed to His Father in heaven. I want to be past the past impressions.
So basically, that man showed me what it truly meant to be mad for our King. I sang that I would become even more undignified than this- and I believe it! I said I was prepared, but was I really? Watching that man dance and prance and remembering my first impressions, "He's weird," or, "I'm glad I'm not him," or, "That's embarrassing that everybody's watching him and laughing- doesn't he get the hint?" I realize how Michal-ist I was being.
Why be so conservative when it comes to giving ourselves to God? Yes, people may be watching. Yes, they may be laughing and pointing. Yes, there may be whispers. But, God's smiling! When He saw David dancing with all his strength, He saw that David understood who was more important. He understood that his impression on Michal and the other servants paled in comparison to the devotion He showed to His beloved God. That's the kind of devotion I admire and aspire to... now, to make it happen.
Turn up the music, please!