Recently my five year old son, Cole, went with me to worship. Mama stayed at home as she was just days away from giving birth to our son, Tucker. The band started cranking the music and Cole, on his own, starts clapping. For the most part, he was clapping in time with the beat, which surprised me even more! The thing was, nobody else was clapping. It wasn't really a clapping-type song. Didn't stop my boy, though. He was clapping because the mood just hit him.
Out of my periphory I see two small hands stretch toward the heavens. First he was clapping, now he's a hand-raising five year old. Just singing away.
My heart was full. Mainly because, to be really candid with you, I know that in my attempts to worship the Lord there are times when I am repressed. I am far too concerned about what someone else may think of me. Which is stupid, I know, but it's the truth.
My heart was full because my son has yet to learn what it means to have other people tell you how to worship. He was happy, and he wanted to show God that he was happy, in a way that made sense to his five year old mind. So he clapped, and raised his hands, because it felt right.
The facts are that a man can come to church in an Armani suit, wearing a Rolex, and stroke a large check for the offering plate, and yet the entire time be a fowl smell in the nostrils of God because that man's heart is a stiff as the starch in his shirt. Reverence might have a bit to do with dress codes, but it has far more to do with a heart set free than a heart bound to traditions that God never created.
The worst thing I could have done with Cole would have been to shut him down in a moment that would have forever taught him that God was not a fan of his happy self. Whether he fully understood what he was doing didn't matter to me. What matters most is that as a dad I allow him to do worship in a way that makes sense to him.
That day, sitting beside my son, I saw first hand what liberated worshiped looked like. And it was beautiful.
"I never saw the members of my father's church enjoying themselves."- Friedrich Nietzsche, when asked why he rejected Christianity. He's the father of modern atheism who is considered by many to be the greatest philosopher of all time. He is the man who coined the concept of "nihilism" ... the idea that life has no real purpose, therefore, live however you want to live.
Never think that your ability to live in the joy of Jesus has no profound affect on those around you.