Summary: If you aren’t willing to look foolish you’re foolish.
Wired For Worship
Pastor Mark Batterson
This evotional continues the Wired for Worship series. To subscribe to the podcast, visit www.theaterchurch.com. This week’s video, Chaos Dance, is also posted @ www.evotional.com.
I’m also posting additional thoughts on my daily blog (www.evotional.com).
Like everyone else, I have had my fair share of embarrassing moments.
When I was in the second grade I fell in a mud puddle and I had to wear a pair of pants that the school nurse gave me. They were checkered wool pants. My legs still itch from those pants!
A few years ago we were playing kick ball at a leadership summit. I played basketball in college. I’d like to think that I still have some semblance of athletic prowess. But there was no evidence of it when I tripped on the kickball running to first base and dislocated my left shoulder. The only thing that hurt worse than my shoulder was my ego!
Last fall I was driving home from our Bonfire Baptism and I stopped to get gas. Long story short, I forget to remove the gas nozzle from my gas tank. I pulled the whole thing off and dragged it behind the car while everybody stared and laughed. I had to go into the gas station and tell the teenage employee what I had done. I felt like a fool.
I could write for a long time on this topic! But I’ll share one more embarrassing moment.
I’m not sure exactly how to say this, but I can’t dance. At least that’s what I’m told by other people! Hold that thought.
Two years ago, a team of NCCers attended the Origins conference in LA and we did reconnaissance at Mosaic. I hold the pastor of Mosaic, Erwin McManus, in highest esteem. He is one of my favorite authors. And he is an amazing communicator.
To make a long story short, Mosaic services are very interactive. And they asked for a volunteer to do an interpretive dance of chaos. Let’s just say there was mutiny on the bounty. Our team turned on me and volunteered yours truly. I was mortified. My sum total of dancing experience was going swing dancing once or twice. If you can call it that. And I did the river dance routine at our variety show a few years ago. That’s it. I didn’t even know the running man yet! I had zero skilzs. And they put on a stage in front of a church. And had me dance! I can’t even put into words what was going through my head. I was dancing on the outside, but I was dying on the inside. I’ve never felt more self-conscious. I’ve never been more humiliated. It ranks as one of my all-time embarrassing moments.
I actually have a video of that dance. One of the mutinous team members happened to have a video phone and he took some footage. I posted the vlog on my blog (www.evotional.com). You’ll have to scroll down to Thursday, September 15. If you listen closely you’ll hear Erwin McManus laughing. And he’s not laughing “with” me.
By the way, I was reading Erwin McManus’ book The Barbarian Way this week. No, I haven’t boycotted his books. And he said there is an old Celtic Proverb that says you shouldn’t give a sword to a man who can’t dance. Let’s just say that if I lived in ancient Ireland I would have been disarmed.
The Fear of Foolishness
I think deep down inside, all of us of us are afraid of looking foolish.
For what it’s worth, the #1 fear in poll after poll is speaking in public. The #2 fear is death! That means that most people would rather die than speak in public. Why? The fear of looking foolish! It’s the curse of self-consciousness.
It’s that fear of foolishness that keeps us from raising our hand in the fourth grade because what if our answer is wrong. It’s the fear of foolishness that keeps us from asking someone out on a date because what if they say no. It’s the fear of foolishness that keeps us from changing majors or changing jobs. It’s the fear of foolishness that keeps us from praying for a miracle or sharing out faith. And it’s the fear of foolishness that keeps us from worshipping God the way we could and should.
But here’s the deal: if you aren’t willing to look foolish you’re foolish.
Here’s one of my personal definitions of faith: the willingness to look foolish.
Noah looked foolish building an ark in the dessert. Sarah looked foolish buying maternity clothes at ninety. The Israelites looked foolish marching around Jericho blowing trumpets. David looked foolish attacking Goliath with a slingshot. The Wise Men looked foolish following yonder star. Peter looked foolish stepping out of the boat in the middle of the lake in the middle of the night. And Jesus looked foolish hanging half-naked on the cross.