It was the way that she worshipped.
Now don't get me wrong, I believe in freedom of expression when it comes to worship. I believe that each of us is free to connect with God in the way that we feel is best, so long as it doesn't cause a distraction to others or cause them to stumble. However, what bothered me about her was that she didn't have a personal way to worship. When she was with me in chapel (which I hated), she would stand quietly with her arms folded and brow furrowed (which I did). When she was with her hallmates, she would lift her hands, close her eyes, and sing loudly. When she was with another group of people, she would lie prostrate on the floor, and cry (not yell, but weep) to God. And that bugged me. It bugged me that she changed her style depending upon who she was sitting beside.
I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when Taffy asked me to come on a high school student worship leaders' retreat.
It was simple enough. Each of us adults would pile some kids in our cars and go to a different church to attend, observe, and participate in worship in both the adult service and the youth service. I took the freshmen guys to Coast Hills.
Nothing that unusual to report on from the adult service. But when we went to the Middle School service, I couldn't help but be reminded of my ex. As the worship band started the service, I was still a bit drowsy from the morning. So it took me a little while to loosen up and participate. So I stood quietly with my hands in my pockets, trying my best to not be a distraction. As I glanced to my left, I noticed that the three guys I was with were doing the same. Within a few songs (and after a Starbucks) I was awake enough to participate. As the band started playing Holy is the Lord, I entered into worship myself. I raised my hands, closed my eyes, and sung aloud to one of my favorite songs. A few times, i glanced to my left and saw that all three guys were doing the same as me.
Were they mimicking me? Did they feel that by me loosening up, it gave them permission to do the same? I'm not sure. But I was left with these thoughts:
I guess you could say I've been thinking about being an example a lot lately. I can't help but think I've got a long way to go...