hurry, Hurry, HuRRy, HURRY UP! My thoughts were racing as I lugged my 6-year-old across the church parking lot with her wrist in my tightly gripped palm. "Mommy, this shoe isn't tight enooooough!" she whined while stomping her foot on the pavement for dramatic effect. "You'll live! I've tied it three times already, now hurry up!"
My barking softened to a whine, "Come on, sweetie, I don't want to be late for worship time." We funneled through the crowd inside the building, somewhat lopsided from her dragging and me pulling. Oh boy, lots of familiar faces. "Hi, I'm fine. How are you?" Boy, can I fake it when I need to. "Hey there!" Big plastered smile.
The smile quickly turned upside down. "What!?! Her room is full," I huffed to the check-in lady, What's-Her-Name. "You've GOT to be kidding!" Oh, what's the point? Great, now my daughter is crying, and I am fuming, but we will not miss the worship time, no sir-ee!
I scooped her up in my arms, set my eyes straight ahead as to not make eye contact with anyone and darted into the church service out of sheer determination to get my fix. I yell-whispered a "HUSH IT" into my daughter's flushed ear, and she dug her head into my shoulder to end her whimpering.
Bummer! It's already started, I complained inside my mind. Down one aisle, nope, no seat. Down the next. So much for being discreet. Oh, there was a spot in the middle...I wish those people would move in. No such luck. "Sorry, excuse me," I half-heartedly uttered through my clinched teeth while trying not to step on anyone's foot or purse or Bible. There. I released a deep breath, thankful that it was finally time to worship. My little one decided that it was finally time to tighten her shoe. I tightened it, alright! And put a triple knot in it. She looked up at me with those red eyes and started to plead. No way! After seeing my "don't you dare" glare, she changed her mind about asking me to attend to the other shoe.
Everyone was clapping and swaying as I dug desperately through my purse to find something with kid appeal. If she will just leave me alone, then--THEN I can finally sing. "Here, sweetie, draw me a picture of worship," I pleaded as she grabbed the notebook and pen I had found.
There. All settled.
I began to praise with a grin as big as Texas on my face. "It's all about You," I sang. It repeated once.
Wow, those drums are loud. Oh well. "It's all about You, Jesus," I belted out--until I noticed my Bible study leader across the aisle. I wondered why she wasn't singing. That's strange. I couldn't help but hope that my mentor would notice me giving my all to the Lord in robust praise.
The last chord of the guitar strummed, and I was so bummed! I reluctantly took my seat along with the others. It's time to sit down already? I just got here.
Oh good, they're starting another song. Ah, yes, "We fall down, we lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus."
In the middle of this worshipful moment, right NOW! What are they talking about? I restrained myself from tapping the shoulders of the two ladies conversing in front of me. The guy two rows up to the left took a drink of his out of his shiny silver coffee mug. We're worshipping, people!
As I sat heartbroken in that spot bravely holding back the tears, I looked down at my daughter, fully expecting to be interrupted by her again. And I was.
She sat there melted into the pew with her head and her hands raised toward heaven. On her lap sat her sketch--Jesus hanging on the cross with thorns on His head and nails in His hands---The top read, "My Pikcher of Wership." It wasn't a sketch, no, it was a MASTERpiece! Lord, forgive me. My heart has been so selfish!
In was in that unexpected moment that I finally got to worship, and it had nothing to do with the music, nothing to do with the crowd, and it especially had nothing to do with me.
In that true moment of worship, it was finally ALL about Him.
"I will thank the LORD with all my heart as I meet with his godly people."
Psalm 111:1 (NLT)