As I think about leadership and all that is tied up with that, especially in the church I was reminded of the story of David. He was the new sheriff (king) in town and he was bringing the biggest prize the Israelites had home, the ark of the covenant. Now as he got closer and closer to the main part of town he did something strange….he stripped down to his underwear basically….and he danced! (He would have been thrown out of a lot of churches just for the dancing thing alone!) He danced, he twirled, he jumped in front of this big crowd…a crowd of people he was the King over. His wife was watching from a distance as he did this strange, spontaneous jig and she was not very impressed. You see, her dad had been king and she new how a king should act and this was not it..not even close…and when he walked in the door, all out of breath she let him have it. “How dignified you looked to day dear, dancing in a frenzy in front of all those lower class people. Nice.” (Bill’s translation)
Now he responds to clarify things and he says, “I was dancing for my God, not the crowd….and I will look even more undignified than this if it pleases God.” (Nice come back)
When David stripped down he did not just try to get comfortable but he laid aside the clothes that let people know he was king. He put aside what would have identified him as king, to worship his God, he would not hold onto that identity over the identity he had with God. I see people many times finding their identity in a title or position and they lose who they are as a person, who God knows them as. I really do not think God ever looks at us and sees what we are doing in the kingdom as what is defining us, I think he sees us, he sees me. I do not think He looks at me different now as a Pastor than He did when I was working at the factory, it is not a not a title or gift He sees, He sees me, and He knows me.
I love what I do and am thrilled that God saw fit to call me to be a pastor and lead a great church, but at the end of the day (or the beginning) when I pray or worship, it is just me standing before God and I don’t know that I have ever sensed Him saying, “Hey nice sermon today, Pastor Bill, real nice,” but I have sensed Him saying, “this is my son and I really like Him a lot.” That is what brings me close to His heart, being His son, finding pleasure in Him.
I think David realized as he was bringing home this prize to God’s people, he was only as year or so away from being a shepherd boy watching his dad’s sheep and here he was, a king leading a parade to glorify God and to bring God’s presence back to the people of God. And he was overwhelmed by it all and the only response he knew was to dance for all he was worth for his king, the Lord of glory. Many times I myself am reminded I am only a few years removed holding a factory job, a good one but still….a factory job and now I get to lead a wonderful church family into God’s presence and at times, like this morning for example, it leads to dancing and jumping. It can be hard to communicate to others the explosion of joy that comes from knowing God is with you and for you…
Sooooo I think the point is I think we have to be comfortable standing in our underwear before God. WHAT???? I really do love being a pastor but not as much as being His child…and that is how He sees me…his child. Don’t hold onto positions and titles and things too tightly…hold onto Him.