King David had one whopper of a worship procession when he brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. It was a great celebration filled with praise, generosity, and dancing. Yet, David’s wife, Michal, was a by-stander to the entire event. She critically watched the worship service from afar and judged her husband for his part in it. Furthermore, Michal let David know it when he got home. But David was undaunted. He was committed to the worship of his God. The story finishes with a cryptic note on Michal, that she had no children to the day of her death. This is meant to convey both the physical reality of barrenness, and the sad fact that she was spiritually barren, bereft of the ability to praise the One true God.
Far too many persons take the posture of Michal when it comes to worship. They sit and watch, critically nit-picking the worship leader, the pastor, and all that takes place. The problem, however, may not be the worship; it is perhaps more likely that there is a barrenness of soul preventing the person from genuine and passionate worship of God.
We all have damaged souls simply from living in a broken world. Worship can be a healing activity. But it needs to be entered into. There must be participation. The wounds of the inner person will cause unhealthy patterns of criticism and bitterness unless they are addressed through the pilgrimage of a worshipful procession. The most difficult journey of all is not an outward trip to another place; the greatest journey is to bravely enter the inner labyrinth of the soul and confront the shadows where old hurts hold onto with tenacity. This is where worship begins.
Great God Almighty, you are worthy to be praised. Give me the courage to worship with abandon and be unconcerned with what others might think about it, so that I can be healed within and be generous without hindrance. May Jesus Christ be praised. Amen.